Export council to slash 2016 target by 25 percent to $90 billion

By Catherine N. Pillas, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 17 2014 07:31 AM | Updated as of Jun 17 2014 03:31 PM

MANILA - The Export Development Council (EDC) is looking at a revised export goal of $90 billion for 2016—or 25 percent lower than the original target—to be incorporated in the three-year Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) currently being crafted.

The public-private EDC decided to scale down its previous goal of $120 billion, as even Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo deemed the original figure as already “unrealistic” at this point.

The PEDP 2014-2016 is the export-sector component of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, the government’s primary economic and social development program.

“The figures were reviewed. It’s around $90 billion in 2016,” said Roberto Amores, council member of the EDC from the private sector, told the BusinessMirror in a text message.

Amores, also the president of Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization Inc., said the council re-evaluated the figure “at a more realistic level,” given “domestic issues” faced by exporters.

Although the export target for 2016 is set to be adjusted down to $90 billion, the EDC is keeping the growth target for 2014 at 10 percent, Amores said.

Domingo, in March, admitted that the $120-billion export goal, as envisioned in the current PEDP, is already unrealistic as total exports growth should be at 25 percent annually to achieve that target.

Total exports growth in 2013, data from the DTI show, is expected to be at 8.6 percent valued at $75.5 billion.

The PEDP is expected to detail export targets and strategies within the given period, taking into account issues facing exporters in local and international markets.

The EDC, tasked to oversee the development of the export sector and craft the plan, is composed of members from both the public and the private sector. The chairman from the government is Domingo while the co-chairman from the private sector is Philippine Exporters Confederation President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr.

Sought for comment, Ortiz-Luis told the BusinessMirror the PEDP 2014-2016 must focus on inputs to “strengthen product development and export promotion,” with a view to making the country’s exports more competitive.

Ortiz-Luis added that the EDC’s executive committee is set to meet before the end of the month to finalize and approve the plan, after which, a full EDC meeting presided by President Aquino will be held for final presentation of the PEDP 2014-2016.