THE government will soon provide comprehensive industry and firm level interventions to help increase the country’s export volume under its new Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2023-2028.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has finally approved the PEDP during a sectoral meeting on Tuesday to help boost the country’s competitiveness in terms of merchandise exports through “development-centric” trade facilitation and right regulation.
“We are a laggard in exports, particularly in the export of goods—those merchandise exports. But we are rather doing better and sometimes can be considered ahead of our neighboring countries in the export of services. Typical examples of these services are those offered by the BPOs [business process outsourcing], the IT-BPM [information technology-business process management] sector,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a press briefing.
To help increase merchandise exports, the PEDP aims to help address industry production constraints; develop a strong innovative export ecosystem; and increase the Philippines’s export “mindshare” or brand recognition in the global market.
“The export competitiveness of the Philippines lies in the competitiveness of the firms themselves,” Pascual said.
“We must develop reliable, design-driven, technology-driven, sustainable and forward looking exporters to become or to make the Philippines an agile export powerhouse,” he added.
Among the interventions to be extended by the government to the said establishments are consulting services as well as access to technology and potential buyers from abroad.
Marcos is expected to issue a Memorandum Circular defining the rules of various agencies for the PEDP’s implementation.
The plan will benefit four priority industry clusters, namely industrial machinery and transport; technology, media and telecommunications; health and life sciences cluster; and “modern basic needs of a resilient economy” such as firms engaged in addressing food and energy security.
The covered establishments will be further classified into breakers as well as those in the cresting and ripple stages.
Pascual explained breakers are establishments, which have “broken into the international market” and are already exporting in sizable volume; thus, they need less support from the government.
Companies in the cresting phase are those which have shown “export capability” and have done some transactions with foreign clients. They have the potential to expand their exports with the backing from the government.
These include firms engaged in animation, game and software development.
Ripple stage firms such as those engaged hi-tech industries will receive the most government support since they have the least exposure in the export market.
With the full implementation of the PEDP and additional international trade agreements, DTI aims to significantly increase the country’s exports.
“By promoting investments, facilitating trade and developing key industry clusters, the plan aims to achieve substantial export growth and establish the Philippines as a producer of high value products and services,” Pascual said.
Last month, Pascual said the country has the potential to increase its exports by as much as US$49 billion based on data from the International Trade Center.