Cebu Exporters Still Cautious on US Market

Article excerpt

CEBU CITY - Although today's peso-dollar exchange rate highly favors the Philippine export industry- trading around the P49 level against the greenback- Cebuano exporters remain cautious of the United States market.

"It is still premature for us to hope for recovery of a strong demand in the US next year. The stock market is swinging up and down. There is so much uncertainty right now and in the next couple of months," said Michael Basubas, past president of the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc. (CFIF).

Even as the rest of the world is banking on the leadership of President-elect Barack Obama to uplift the US economy. Basubas said he shares the sentiment of local exporters that it will take time for Cebu products to pick up more demand in the US market.

Basubas said that it would be "wise" for exporters to diversify their markets to other countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He acknowledged, though, that the US market accounts for about 60 percent of local exports.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Eric Mendoza said some exporters are now looking at the Russian market, whose robust economy is boosted by high-spending Russians. …