Garments, textile and apparel exports are expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2022, up from $1.052 billion in 2021, as the country remains on the radar of major buyers overseas despite the lingering pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, a trade group said over the weekend.
The Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines said local industry players continued to receive orders, which other countries such as Vietnam, China, India and Bangladesh could not serve because of their minimum volume requirement.
“We will hit it [target] easily because we have all the orders right now on hand. We can now project that the $1.5 billion [exports volume] for 2022 yearend is just a walk in the park,” said FOBAP president Robert Young.
Young, the cPhilippine Exporters Confederation Inc. trustee for textile, yarn and fabric sector, said the industry should protect its track record of being the second largest exporter of garments and textile in Asia despite the supply chain problem.
The Ukraine-Russia crisis, however, may affect the industry’s target for 2022 because of the trade sanctions on Russia where the Philippines exports some products such as Levis and Inditex.
Industry data showed thatPhilippine shipments of apparel, textile and garments reached $1.052 billion in 2021. Garments and apparel exports hit $758 million, while textiles amounted to $294 million.
Young said shipments including the $200 million worth of finished goods that were ready to be shipped by the end of 2021 but remained at the port because of supply chain issues, the 2021 figure topped $1.2 billion.
“These goods only exited the port terminal facility last February,” he said.
“FOBAP, six months ago, had a projection that exports would be $1.2 billion. We hit it. We are very optimistic for the Philippine economy that the garments business improved as compared to previous year. [We] really saw an increase in percentage despite the pandemic,” he said.
The bulk or about 80 percent of the goods were shipped to the United States, while 20 percent went to the European Union, Australia, Canada and other ASEAN countries.
“Our aggressiveness [in marketing] is really there. We work 24/7. We are scouting for other orders which the other countries are not accepting due to the minimum [volume] requirement,” he said.
FOBAP expressed hope that the next administration would implement a comprehensive, doable and sustainable roadmap to boost the textile and apparel industry.
“A serious consideration on the [revival of] nuclear power plant will finally solve our power cost, energy problem. That’s number 1. Number 2, the wages must be somehow reexamined and restudied,” Young said.
“There should also be a grant on tax deduction for export because this will somehow encourage the foreign investors to come in. The CREATE [Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises] law is there, but it’s not enough. We have to make an added feature attracting these foreign investors,” he said.