Exporters meet local demand amid "dark clouds" in global economy

Photo: Cebu furniture makers proudly display their creatiions.  (www.cebufurnitureindustries.com)


MANILA -- Local producers are seeking to meet rising local demand, eyeing local opportunities, not just exports. A ranking trade official said that aside from looking overseas, exporters are now trying to meet domestic opportunities arising from robust demand.

Department of Trade and Industry- Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Director Senen Perlada told reporters on Monday that some of the country's traditional exports have equally strong local demand. He cited furniture and fixtures as well as food products as examples, which are demanded by Filipino consumers.

“A lot of our exporters are really looking at our domestic market, for example furniture and fixture. Just look at the local market, the construction, new buildings are coming up, residentials -- really huge [opportunities],” said Perlada.

He added that there is also an upbeat demand for food products in the local market, which competes with the supply for exports demand.

This comes as the Philippine Statistics authority announced a 2.6 increase in construction activity in the first quarter of 2018, based on building permits. According to industry sources, a bigger number of these permits are for condominiums which multiply the furniture  demand. 

“The strength of domestic market is there,” Perlada stressed.

Perlada said there is a need for manufacturers to increase their production in order to meet the demand generated by both the domestic and international markets. 

This trend also comes as the prospects for global trade look less attractive amid events in last week's G& Summit in Canada. Speaking to Reporters in Berlin, IMF President Christine Lagarde announced the entry of "dark clouds" over the global economy resulting from United states President Donald Trump's withdrawal of landmark trade agreements at the G7 Summit. The IMF expected the global economy to grow by 3.9 percent both in 2018 and 2019, marking a slight pick-up from last year's 3.8 percent. Lagarde chief said that challenges to world trade were damaging business confidence and putting global economy at risk.

(with a report from PNA)