DTI maintains 2012 exports target

Department of Trade and Industry’s export promotion agency is confident that country will hit this year’s exports target despite the drop in export revenues.

In an interview aired over radio dzRB, Bureau of Export Trade Promotion Director Senen M. Perlada, who is also the Executive Director of the Export Development Council, said that “the private sector and the DTI will keep the absolute target for 2012.”  The country’s exports target for 2012 is US$80.2 billion.

To compensate for the loss of revenues from merchandise exports, service exports must be increased, Perlada explained. Services exports, which include information technology and business process outsourcing, presently only accounts for 20 percent of our total exports. Electronics exports accounts for almost half of our total exports.

“This trend in the services exports will cushion the decline in export receipts and help us meet our targets in 2012,” he said.

While the passage of House Bill 3596 or “Call Center and Consumers Protection Bill” in the US Congress is seen as a threat in our country’s booming business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, Perlada said that “it will ultimately be a business decision on the part of the companies.”

He added that “what we can do is to improve on the attractiveness of the Philippines as a destination of business process outsourcing.”

On the Department of Tourism’s slogan “It is more fun in the Philippines”, he explained that DTI’s portfolios promoted by our trade service officers abroad do not just include trade and investment but also tourism.  Tourists are considered the first line of distribution of our goods and services.  Similarly, they can also be investors in tourism.

“With the help of our tourism and commercial attachés abroad, we see a ramp in tourism investment in the Philippines” he said.

He mentioned that DTI has recently organized the so-called Global Marketing Intelligence Teams (GMITs), which is composed of eight (8) teams like America, South Asia, North Asia, Middle East and North Africa.  The teams do not just include DTI but also the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism and Department of Agriculture and other agencies and stakeholders involved in international business. As composite teams, the GMITs will work together to harmonize our programs to make the most of our resources.

With the looming crisis in the US and Europe and Japan, Perlada said, we will be expanding our exports to China, not just on Eastern sea port area but within its mainland.  Likewise, countries where we have free trade agreements (FTAs) such as North Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand were cited as strategic markets of our exports.

He further explained that fifty-seven (57) percent of our merchandise exports now go to these countries. So far, utilization of exporters of these FTAs with partner countries has reached 30 percent based on our discussions with the private sector but this may have to be validated by the Bureau of Customs.

In view of this, Perlada said that DTI will continue to conduct information sessions on doing business in FTAs to make our small and medium enterprises exporters understand and use the opportunities in these agreements. (END)