MANILA — The government has recorded 4.1 percent drop in the value of goods shipped overseas compared with figures of the same month, last year.
This, according to the government is due to the fragile demand in major markets.
“The decline is partly reflective of fragile global economic conditions, as most trade-oriented economies in East and Southeast Asia also registered negative export performance in April, with only Vietnam in positive territory. Weaker demand conditions in some of our major trading partners, particularly China, were seen,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a statement.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that export sales this year reached only P4.376 billion or 4.1 percent less than the P4.563 billion recorded in the same month last year.
The total exports for the first four months of 2015 reached only $18.623 billion, 1.2-percent less than $18.840 billion at the end of April 2014.
Balisacan also warned that in the near-term “the country’s export sector remains vulnerable to declining demand from major trading partners.”
“The softening of economic activity in China as well as the still fragile economic growth of Japan remains a downside risk for the Philippine export sector,” Balisacan, who is also the director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said.
“To counter the weak demand from our major markets, the government should maximize existing trade agreements, especially with emerging economies benefiting from the low oil price environment. Also, this shows the importance of restoring traction in government spending,” he added.
The NEDA chief, meanwhile, remained positive that the increasing number of investors in the country will be a big help in the country’s manufacturing industry.
“Despite the April numbers, investors remain confident of the growth prospects. Proof of this is the recent expansion of the Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc.’s facilities in San Fernando, Cebu to boost productive capacity in anticipation of higher demand for construction materials,” Balisacan noted.
“A number of Japanese firms are also poised to relocate to the country. In addition to the supply of skilled labor, some firms also want to maximize duty-free benefits in the Philippines under the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus,” the NEDA chief added.