With the sustained growth momentum of the Philippines’ merchandise exports during the first eight months of the year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is upbeat to meet the country’s export target for this year and possibly exceed it.

“Given this development in the country’s export performance, we are pleased that our promotion efforts here and abroad have yielded positive results as reflected the growth momentum sustained by the electronics and the non-elctronics sectors,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. said.

Based on a report from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s merchandise exports increased by 9.2 percent to US$40.75 billion from the US$37.33 billion reported from January to August last year. The electronics sector rose by 5.17 percent to US$16.28 billion from US$15.28 billion while the non-electronics sector grew by 12 percent to US$24.47 billion from US$21.85 billion.

In the first eight months of 2014, the Philippines' export growth of 9.2 percent was second to Vietnam's 14.9 percent, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Manalo noted that the growth of the country’s exports also prompted the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI), which tracks the export performance of the country’s electronics and semiconductor industries, to raise their growth projection to 5 to 8 percent from their initial 5 percent target due to strong demand on their products.

“While we now see the gains from our promotion of non-electronic products, particularly our participation in international trade fairs and outbound and inbound trade missions, we will continue to actively participate and conduct these activities to further contribute to our export targets this year,” Manalo said.

According to PSA, non-electronic products that posted significant double-digit year-to-date growths are travel goods and handbags (53.8 percent), mineral products (29.2 percent), textile yarns and fabrics (33.6 percent), furniture and fixtures (44.1 percent), machinery and transport (42.5 percent), fruits and vegetables (27 percent), and other agro products (23 percent).

Manalo noted that in the first half of the year, it already participated in 11 recognized international trade fairs to promote the Philippines as a viable source of innovative and quality products.

“This October, we will once again hold the Manila FAME, Asia's design and lifestyle event in October, following its March edition this year. Through trade shows like the Manila FAME, we provide opportunities for our small and medium enterprises to showcase their products to the global market,” Manalo said.

He also noted that aside from fairs, DTI also organized inbound and outbound business matching activities to introduce our export products to foreign markets. As of August 2014, the DTI conducted 32 inbound business-matching activities and two outbound business matching activities. It intends to conduct three more outbound business-matching activities in France, United Arab Emirates, and Japan within the year.(END)