Strategies key to trade boost––NEDA

October 11, 2018

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is pushing for the implementation of fresh strategies, including the removal of unnecessary regulatory impediments to boost exports crucial to sustaining total trade growth.

NEDA Officer-in-Charge and Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said key strategies to improve the overall climate for export development have already been identified in the Philippine Export Development Plan 2018-2022.

Edillon said these include raising productivity and competitiveness of Philippine enterprises, upgrading export quality and standards, improving access to trade finance, and enhancing the export sector’s innovative capacities.

“The immediate implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Act will also be vital in attracting competitive firms to enter the country’s exporting industry. The approval of the 11th Foreign Investment Negative List should further ease restriction on foreign investments and prop-up domestic economic activity,” she said in a statement.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday reported that total exports rose by 3.1 percent to USD6.16 billion in August 2018, the third straight month of growth in outbound shipments. This was buoyed by electronic products, mineral products, and fruits and vegetables.

The country’s balance of trade in goods expanded to USD3.51 billion in August from USD2.74 billion the previous month, as total imports outpaced exports despite slowing by 11 percent to USD9.68 billion.

Imports growth softened because of weaker purchases of capital goods, raw materials and intermediate goods, and consumer goods.

The PSA said electronic products continued to be the country’s top export with total earnings of USD3.35 billion, representing a share of 54.3 percent of the total exports revenue last August.

Electronic products also accounted for 25.4 percent of total import bill during the month.

Edillon said the total import bill is expected to accelerate further in the coming months, driven by capital goods to support the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

She added that global growth is projected to remain steady at 3.7 percent this year and 2019 based on the latest International Monetary Fund outlook as of October 2018.