The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is keen to maintain the momentum of Philippine exports after posting double-digit growth last year, with revenues from some commodity groups already back to US levels. before the pandemic.
Commerce Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a statement Sunday that the DTI intends to further help exporters maximize opportunities as part of improving global market performance by removing barriers to trade. trade.
“Our goal for the first half of 2022 is to unlock the country’s unrealized export potential and empower our exporters to seize recovery opportunities in global markets,” Lopez said. “Unlocking trade barriers or frictions alone could add another $20 billion to our export earnings.”
The trade official was referring to a study by the International Trade Center (ITC), which calculated an unrealized export potential of $49 billion for the Philippines, of which $20 billion is due to specific market frictions. some products. The remaining $29 billion is attributed to projected economic and export market growth.
Citing the study, the DTI noted that trade barriers are “often related to lack of market knowledge, difficulties in complying with market demands, and difficulties in connecting buyers with the right suppliers, among others.” .
The department also aims to highlight the export potential of coconut after it was identified as a key commodity among agricultural commodities with more complex value chains.
He noted that coconut oil was one of the major contributors to export revenue last month.
“As coconut oil sales continue to accelerate, other coconut products are also gaining momentum in the global market,” Lopez said.
The demand for coconut products is expected to increase significantly as the growing urban population will lead to increased consumption of processed food products, the DTI said, citing a report.
The DTI, by promoting coconut as an export product, will target the market for health and wellness and other non-food uses of the product, as well as traditional food product segments.
Trade Promotion Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman said the DTI will extend its assistance to coconut exporters through technical and marketing support, including management and marketing training. exports and support for their participation in international trade fairs and business correspondence seasons.
“The first for this year will be export promotion activities in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, including in-store promotion of Filipino food products in major supermarkets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the participation in Gulfood and a business matchmaking session in Dubai,” said Macatoman.
Bananas, pineapples and tuna were also cited as products with high export potential. According to the ITC study, the Philippines’ agricultural, food and beverage exports have an unrealized export potential of $5.2 billion.
For the manufacturing sector, the study also highlighted motor vehicles and their parts, plastics and rubber, optical products, watches and medical instruments as well as machinery and electricity as drivers of growth in manufacturing. exports.
Merchandise exports from the Philippines rose 14.5% to $74.6 billion last year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. The main export markets for 2021 are the United States, China and Japan.