MANILA — Philippine merchandise exports needs an average of 15 percent growth for the remaining months of the year to hit the industry’s target at end-2015, Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) president Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis said.
Ortiz-Luis said in a phone interview that it will be a hard time for the country to meet its exports target of 8.0 to 10 percent for this year after five-month exports of goods declined by 5.0 percent to USD 23.5 billion from USD 24.7 billion in the same period last year.
Merchandise exports started the year with negative growth of less than 1.0 percent and continued to decline in February at 3.0 percent.
It slightly rebounded to 2.1 percent in March before it posted another negative growth of 4.1 percent in April.
In May, exports of goods further fell by 17 percent.
“Exports in May was down by 17 percent while for the first five months, it’s down by 5.0 percent. Obviously, it will be a challenge for exporters to meet the 8.0 to 10 percent growth. What we need to do is to grow by 15 percent throughout the year,” the Philexport chief said.
“But the 15 percent growth is a challenge for us with the status of the (world) market,” he added.
He cited challenges in the international market including the Greece crisis in European market, slow recovery in United States and Japan, as well as the territorial row of China with the Philippines, which the executive said “may have affected” the bilateral trade of the two countries.
The four mentioned markets are significant for the Philippines. Specifically, Japan, U.S., and China are top export destinations for the country.
Meanwhile, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo earlier said the country will miss its exports target but still expecting growth by end-2015.