DTI cites possible export winners by 2030

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 28 2014 09:04 AM | Updated as of Mar 28 2014 05:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s furniture and natural health products industries are aiming to be the top exporters of their respective products in Southeast Asia by 2030.

“The strategic vision is the Philippine furniture industry in the year 2030 shall be the global design center or hub for products using sustainable materials, with thriving domestic and international markets and a competitive and motivated labor force,” Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines executive director Salvio Valenzuela, Jr. said during the presentation of their roadmap at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) yesterday.

To be the global design hub by 2030, he said the aim is for the country to become the number one exporter for furniture and furnishings in the Southeast Asian region.

Of the $347 billion value of world production of furniture in 2012, he noted that 0.2 percent was accounted for by the Philippines, which shows there is room for the industry to grow.

He said the industry intends to increase its share in the global market to two percent by 2017.

Under the roadmap, the local furniture industry intends to achieve a two percent growth in exports for every market this year and for a five percent increase next year.

By 2016, the plan is for the country’s furniture exports to rise by seven percent per market and to climb further by 10 percent in 2017.

“We are targeting the medium to high-end segment of the traditional markets such as North America, Europe, Middle East and Japan; (those in) Asia especially Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok and Singapore; and BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China),” Valenzuela said.

While the objective is to grow exports, he said the industry also sees opportunities in the local market given the rising number of condominiums, hotels and corporate offices being built.

He said building the local industry’s capacity through having sustainable supply of raw materials, skilled manpower and cost-effective technologies, machineries or equipment are needed to achieve the targets.

In the same event, Chamber of Herbal Industries of the Philippines, Inc. chairman emeritus Lito Abelarde said the local natural health products industry also wants to become the top exporter of such products in Southeast Asia by 2030.

The local natural health products industry aims to secure a share in the $4.5 trillion world market for health-related products by 2030 under its roadmap.

“Right now, we only have a small share,”Abelarde said citing the sector’s total exports were valued at $152.80 million in 2011.

“We think our potential is bigger than our neighbors because we have diverse natural resources as source of raw materials,” he added.

Among the strategies being pushed to meet the goals of the natural health products industry are selection of priority natural health products; making financing available and having a national marketing agenda.

Private sector groups are coming up with their respective roadmaps in line with the initiative launched by the DTI in January 2012 to promote the revival of the manufacturing sector, which is seen to generate jobs and allow more Filipinos to benefit from the country’s strong economic growth.

Trade undersecretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr. said that of the 26 industry roadmaps received by the department, 22 are considered final and many are being implemented already.