The Department of Trade and Industry expects exports to rise 0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2018, a turnaround after the 1.3-percent decline in the second quarter and 5.5-percent drop in the first quarter of the year.
Exports in the third quarter may largely be driven by the positive growth in the country’s exports of manufactured goods, led by electronics, to the United States, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
“The country’s merchandise export performance has been improving on a quarterly basis since the start of 2018. Its growth turned positive in the third quarter after registering negative growth in the first two quarters of the year,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Merchandise exports rose in July by 0.3 percent and 3.4 percent in August. The combined growth in July and August may have cushioned the decline in September as a result of weak global manufacturing activity amid escalating trade tensions between US and China.
“The Philippine government has long-term plans and roadmap to help expand the country’s manufacturing and production base, and promote the diversification of merchandise exports. Through these policy initiatives and programs, merchandise exports will grow further and in turn will narrow the trade-in-goods deficit,” said Lopez.
He cited the need to expand the country’s manufacturing base to meet the growing domestic demand from the consumption goods and intermediate goods.
“In the short-term, we are trying to address supply chain issues and maximizing whatever limited budget given to promote our exportable in foreign markets through trade fairs and expos like the recently held China International Import Exposition that contribute to increasing our export sales abroad,” he added.
Manufacturing posted a 7.6-percent growth in the past eight years.
“Building a strong manufacturing base will help us in our import substitution capability, at the same time produce products that are export-oriented,” Lopez said.