Garment exporters await better 2024 | Inquirer Business

Garment exporters await better 2024

/ 08:21 AM December 18, 2023

MANILA, Philippines  -Local exporters of garments and textile goods have expressed optimism for the industry next year amid the improving job situation in one of their largest overseas markets, the United States.

Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (Fobap) president Robert M. Young, whose trade group exports about $1 billion worth of garments each year, said they were looking at a 2-percent growth by the middle of 2024.

“In the US, the main cause of the decrease in our garment sales is joblessness. Now it is easing,” Young told the Inquirer in a phone interview.


READ: US’ FTA rebuff dampens optimism of garment exporters


Young cited news reports quoting US government data, which showed that unemployment fell to 3.7 percent in November following the creation of 199,000 new jobs.

Tariff-free access

“Also, we are hoping that the [European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences] will pull up orders,” he added, referring to the preferential trading scheme that allows countries like the Philippines tariff-free access to the EU market.

Despite the bright prospects for 2024, the FOBAP official said they were expecting flat growth in export revenues this year given the weak performance in the third quarter.

Young said exports saw a decline of around 5 percent from July to September, but that orders were slowly improving in the last quarter.

READ: US demand for PH garments slumped 10% in Feb, March, says Fobap

He added they were looking into other countries, including those in South America and the Middle East, to boost exports.


Aside from the US and the EU, Fobap also exports to Canada and Southeast Asia. INQ

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TAGS: Exports, garments industry, outlook

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