Philippine exporters propose strategies for export development plan amid Covid-19

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The government and trade associations have evaluated plans and programs to develop strategies for the implementation of the Philippine export development plan despite the pandemic.

In a virtual meeting, Philippine exporters were consulted to identify constraints and assess their impact on the supply chain.

The Philippines is pushing to improve the overall climate for export development, exploit existing and prospective opportunities from trade agreements, and design competitive packages of support for selected products and services sectors.

“This PEDP regional consultation is a venue to assess plans and programs before the crisis and if they are still doable despite the pandemic,” said DTI Undersecretary for Trade Promotions Abdulgani Macatoman.

“We need to seriously assess, plan, and decide on our next courses of action. We need to focus and keep trying for our companies, our employees, our industry, and our country,” said Philexport Chairman Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

The country is on track to achieve the development plan’s export goal of at least $122 billion of goods and services by 2022, although exports are slowly recovering after bottoming out in April.

Exporters logistics constraints and recommendations

A top concern for exporters is better access to trade credit grants and stimulus packages. Medium-sized exporters, in particular, requested financial assistance as they are not covered in programs targeting micro and small businesses.

Other common suggestions from all regions include streamlining of regulatory requirements for exporters. These include online applications for certificate of origin, and fast-tracking approvals from the FDA, among others.

Exporters from Region 6 cited poor logistics as its top challenge, experienced by 82 percent of respondents. The region has suffered from the lack of international flights in and out of Western Visayas and limited operations of logistics companies.

A post-Covid targeted market intelligence from export markets in ASEAN, USA, Europe, and Latin America was also needed in the region.

The Metro Manila suggested an intensified training on halal and major international certifications, export requirements and procedures, and export financing. The metro also recommended subsidized business missions, especially for pioneering and promising industries and products.

Davao region exporters want to fast-track the reduction of tariffs for bananas and other agricultural products to South Korea and Japan.

To expand the market for agricultural exports, the Davao region proposed to strengthen market access through an aggressive market intelligence network by DTI-Foreign Trade Service Corps and Agricultural Commercial Attaches, a continuous info session on Export Trade Facilitation Agreements, and online sessions for networking and business matching.

Virtual consultations from exporters were held in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao on August 12, 19, and 26, respectively.

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