Trade dept confident PH can attain $122-B in exports by 2022

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) remains confident that the country would reach the low-end export revenues target of $122 billion by 2022.

Speaking at the virtual National Export Congress on Thursday, DTI Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Trade Promotions Group Abdulgani Macatoman said the Philippine Exports Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022 is now up for review to realign strategies with the impacts of the global health and economic crisis.

Under the PEDP 2018-2022, the government targets $122 billion to $131 billion revenues from goods and services exports by the end of 2022.

“Currently, we are reviewing and assessing the PEDP’s strategies indicators and export targets to see if such are still doable or not and continue to be optimistic that we will be able to still achieve even the low-end target of USD122 billion in 2022 hand-in-hand,” Macatoman said.

For businesses to thrive amid the coronavirus pandemic, the trade official urged exporters to continue innovating by utilizing digital tools to remain competitive in the evolving digital economy.

Meanwhile, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said that aside from implementing digital solutions in their businesses, reskilling and upskilling the Filipino workforce will be part of the revised export plan.

“As we implement the country’s innovation program, we also need to ensure human capital development towards innovation and entrepreneurship. Therefore, the role of Philippine education in honing the country’s future workforce is integral to produce more innovators, researchers, and knowledge producers,” Lopez said in the same event.

The trade chief also expressed his optimism in the country’s merchandise exports after recording its first positive growth in September since the onset of the Covid-19 in March.

Export revenues in September grew by 2.2 percent year-on-year.

At the onset of the pandemic, the country’s export revenues plummeted by 24.7 percent in March. It further plunged to 49.9 percent in April, while easing its contraction in May to 26.9 percent.

The easing of export contraction continued in June with revenues only down by 12.5 percent, -9.1 percent in July, and -12.8 percent in August before recovering in September.

Lopez added that year-on-year exports to seven out of the top 10 major export partners of the country improved in September.

These markets include Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, Taiwan and Japan, which the country’s exports growth ranges between 0.7 and 21.9 percent. CURRENTPH

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