PH exports to slow slightly

Published by rudy Date posted on May 5, 2011

The Philippines will likely post a slightly lower export growth this year after shipments of a number of the country’s agricultural exports to Japan slowed down due to the disasters that struck the north Asian nation in March this year.

Senen Perlada, director of the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion, an attached agency of the Trade Department, said exports growth could slow to 10 percent at worst this year. Philippine agricultural products affected by the Japan crises are pineapple, banana and mango.

The country’s top exports overseas include coconut oil, bananas, pineapple, mango, shrimps and prawns and tunas.

Japan is the second-largest market for Philippine agricultural products, next to the United States. Japan imports close to 80 percent of bananas, 98 percent of pineapples and 61 percent of mangoes from the Philippines.

Perlada, however, said the government may not officially revise export growth target this year. “If ever there will be [a revision], I think it will still be double digit to 10 percent from the previous target of 13 percent for the year,” Perlada told Manila Standard at the sidelines of a trade event Wednesday.

“As of now, exports are still doing good based on my informal talks with a number of leaders of different sectors like furniture and garments,” he said. Perlada said electronics remained the country’s leading exports overseas and a discussion with industry leaders was scheduled shortly to fully assess the impact of the Japan crises to the country’s electronics industry.

Perlada said the slowdown in agricultural exports could be recouped in the services sector, especially the business process outsourcing industry.

The Business Processing Association of the Philippines has said that total revenue of the industry grew 26 percent in 2010 from $8.9 billion a year ago. The industry employed 525,000 skilled workers and professionals last year, up 24 percent from a year ago.

The BPAP said the industry had the potential to grow at 25 percent a year, which would create 1.3 million direct jobs, 3.2 million indirect jobs and $25 billion in export revenues. –Julito G. Rada, Manila Standard Today

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