Exporters May Have to Recast Growth Target

Article excerpt

Exporters may have to recast its export growth targets of 10 percent this year and 15 percent in 2006 if the last quarter export performance cannot make up for the past three quarters lackluster performances, Philippine Exporters Confederation president Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr. said.

Ortiz-Luis said this as exports figure for the January-August this year are less than encouraging.

For the first eight months this year, the country's exports posted only a 4.09 percent increase to $26.359 billion from $25.322 billion posted in the same period last year. Of this figure, the electronics sector posted a measly 2.21 percent of $17.248 billion from $16.876 billion but the semiconductor sector posted a better performance of 9.82 percent to $12.603 billion from $11.476 billion in the same period last year.

The government is targeting a 10 percent exports growth this year and 15 percent next year.

"If we cannot meet the 10 percent exports growth this year then it would be difficult to reach a 15 percent growth in 2006 or $50 billion," Ortiz-Luis said.

Given the actual performance, Ortiz-Luis said it would be a difficult situation.

"It's hard because of the world market situation, we don't know the situation," he said.

He, however, expressed optimism that exports in the final quarter of this year may be able to pull up the first three quarters performance and hit an 8 to 10 percent growth.

"Otherwise, it would be difficult to reach the $50-billion exports target next year," he added.

He expects the semiconductor sector, which accounts for 60 percent of the country's total electronics exports to continue to post growth.

Ortiz-Luis further cited the need to correct the figures on the unaccounted raw materials in the electronics sector that were secured on consignment basis to come up with a correct exports figure.

At the Exports Congress, Trade and Industry Secretary Peter B. Favila vowed to complete in six months various measures that would support the country's exports growth targets of 10 percent this year and 15 percent next year. …