Industry group expects exports to rise towards year end
Photo: Bananas ready for export. Philexport expects more exports in the second half of 2018 on the back of strong demand in the Christmas season

Manila`s main exporters association projects the country`s exports revenues to rise on strong demand expected in the second half of 2018.

In a statement Friday, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said the group is optimistic their sector will hit its 5-percent growth target on revenues by the end of this year.

"Well, it [second semester] will be better than the first half because it is approaching the Christmas season so we expect it will be good," Ortiz-Luis said.

A report from the Philippine News Agency showed that for the first half 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported a 3.8-percent decrement on merchandise exports revenue amounting to USD32.73 billion from USD34.04 billion in the same period in 2017.

Ortiz-Luis said he expects the upbeat services sector to buoy export revenues this year. He also explained that exporters are now planning to diversify their markets apart from traditional Philippine export destinations such as Japan, United States, and China.

Ortis-Luis related that many countries are now looking to ASEAN to take full advantage of existing free trade agreements with neighbors. Apart from that, they are also setting their sights on the BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, he added.

The Duterte administration targets to raise export revenues to USD122 billion to USD131 billion in goods and services by 2022. (with a report from PNA)