PH garment makers secure $6.48-M orders from Japan | Inquirer Business

PH garment makers secure $6.48-M orders from Japan

/ 02:16 AM February 18, 2023

Garment manufacturers will export $6.48 million worth of products to Japanese buyers this year, the latest victory for the ailing local industry after the Philippine government bolstered trade relations with the East Asian country.

Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (Fobap) president Robert Young told the Inquirer they were able to secure the order from the Konoike Group during the Philippine-Japan business matching event on the sidelines of President Marcos’ working visit to Japan last week.

Young, who is also the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. trustee for textile, said the Konoike Group was partnering with shirt brand company Flex Japan Inc. in sourcing their garment needs from the Philippines.


“They are now ordering … Philippines men’s dress shirts. They will buy the fabric, they will ship it to us, and then we will stitch it and ship it to Japan,” Young said.


The business arrangement will see nine 20-foot containers, each carrying 5,000 pieces of men’s dress shirts, shipped to Japan in 12 months.

The Fobap official is now in talks with factories in Bataan, Batangas, and Clark, Pampanga, to meet the order requirements of the Konoike Group.

“They (Konoike) are convinced that Philippine garment workmanship, particularly [in] men’s dress shirts, has been proven to be good quality and approved worldwide,” Young said.

“And they are hoping that this will continue—the breakthrough on the Philippine-Japan garment trade relations,” he added.

To increase exports moving forward, Young said the Philippines should seek ways to lower the prices of its products compared to competitors.

“We have to rush the other forms of energy such as solar, wind and all these kinds of renewable energy, thereby lowering the electricity cost,” said Young, noting that power costs accounted for 5 to 10 percent of their total production costs.


He said local industry players should teach workers additional skills to be able to keep up with trends and customers’ needs.

“Because if the foreign garment buyers are coming in, they will definitely ask for a shorter time frame for production, lead time … We might not get the orders if we will be dictating again the usual lead time that we require, which is 60 days,” Young said.

—Alden M. Monzon
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TAGS: Exports, Garment manufacturers, Japan

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