Government preparing 5-year plan to revive ailing garments industry

Published by rudy Date posted on May 3, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The government is preparing a five-year Garment Plan in an attempt to revive the ailing local garments industry by developing new markets like the European Union.

In an interview with reporters, Supervising Senior Executive Director of the Garments and Textiles Development Board (GTDO) Lucita P. Reyes said the agency is in the process of drafting a five-year Garments Plan.

Under the plan, Reyes said they will look into options that will attract more players in the garments industry. Getting more players will not only increase the production and exports of the industry, it will also generate more employment.

Reyes said they would also like to explore new export markets. Currently, the Philippines is seeking the help of US lawmakers for the passage of the Save the Industries Act before the US Congress. The Save Act will provide for duty free importation of raw materials from the US and duty free re-export of the finished products.

Other potential market the Philippines is already exploring is China. Likewise, Reyes said they are exploring options as to how to revive trade with the European Union. Reyes said that it is a little difficult to penetrate the European market because they can source their garments from nearer countries like Turkey.

Reyes said the revival of the European Union Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) will make it easier for Philippine exporters to sell to the EU. The GSP provides developing countries preferential access to the EU market through reduced tariffs.

“Everyone is so focused with the Save Act that the basic issue of market development was forgotten,” Reyes told reporters. “What we want is to go beyond participating in trade fairs because that is just marketing,” she added. –MA. ELISA P. OSORIO (The Philippine Star)

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