MANILA, Philippines – The country’s total exports are seen to grow by 10 to 11 percent this year and next year to be supported by the rebound of the electronics sector and continued growth of services exports, a trade official said.
“I think our overall (exports) growth will be 10 to 11 percent, when you get to the bottom of it, and that is my forecast for next year as well,” Trade Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo Jr. told reporters.
He noted that merchandise exports are expected to grow by eight to nine percent even as demand from Japan, the country’s top destination for merchandise exports, may slow down amid economic recession there.
The growth in merchandise exports would be driven by the recovery of the electronics sector.
Manalo said exports of electronics products are seen to grow by seven percent this year and rise by six to eight percent next year, citing the positive outlook of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI).
Earlier, the SEIPI said it sees electronic exports rising by five to eight percent this year from 2013’s $21.823 billion due to strong global demand.
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“I think the electronics sector will continue to get back on its feet. Our task and our job is to go into higher value electronics,” Manalo said.
Apart from electronics, other merchandise goods seen to help drive the growth this year and next year are agricultural products, minerals such as nickel and copper, and automotive parts.
Services exports which cover information technology — business process management and the tourism sectors, are also seen to continue to grow this year and next year.
Manalo’s growth forecast for total exports this year is higher than the targets in the proposed Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2014 to 2016 submitted to President Aquino by the Export Development Council.
The PEDP has set a growth target of eight to 9.3 percent for total exports this year from last year’s $78.5 billion.
For 2015, the plan has set a nine- to 10.1-percent goal for total exports growth, while total exports are targeted to grow by 10.1 to 11 percent in 2016.