Philippines cuts export targets due to COVID-19 impact

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2021 11:52 AM

Philippines cuts export targets due to COVID-19 impact 1
Container vans stacked together are seen inside the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) compound in Manila on April 1, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines lowered its export target for 2022 to $103.9 billion from $130 billion, citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Sunday that because of the disruptions caused by the outbreak "it will be difficult to achieve our pre-pandemic targets" which were outlined in the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022. 

“Hence, we had to adjust our projections based also on the various inputs from industry stakeholders,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. 

The new projection is a "fighting target" as it is "higher than the $86 billion set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC)," Lopez said.

Travel goods, garments, and wood-based industries were hit the most on weak global demand and a decrease in production due to lockdown restrictions, DTI said. 

For 2020, goods and services exports are seen to decline 14.7 percent to $80.5 billion. This was a downward adjustment from the $105.8-billion 2020 target before COVID-19.

But exports are expected to grow by 12.4 percent to $90.5 billion in 2021, which is also lower than the previous target of $117.3 billion for the year.

DTI is anticipating exports to pick up on the passing of reforms such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act and the extension of the Bayanihan 2 Act.

Shipments of electronic products, which make up more than half of yearly exports, is expected to shrink by 7 percent this year, but recover in 2021 by 7 percent driven by semiconductors, DTI said.

Services exports will grow by 17.1 percent in 2020, 11 percent in 2021, and 14.8 percent in 2022, riding on the steady business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, and the expected recovery in travel-related goods and services when the vaccine arrives.

Exports that are seen to have grown last year include auto parts, minerals such as copper and nickel ores, fruits and vegetables, and basketwork.

Lopez said the DTI will focus on the recovery of sectors with greater opportunities such as high-value electronics, automotive and e-vehicles parts, processed food, minerals, other minerals, IT-BPO, and creatives. 

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