Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » PH exporters see bullish 2012 prospects

Notwithstanding the negative growth until November last year, Philippine exporters see a rosier 2012 as they start to penetrate emerging markets and as signs of recovery are experienced.

Electronic firms are already receiving orders for delivery by the latter part of the year, boosting hopes for recovery in 2012. The sector suffered a 48% slump in aggregate exports last year amid the global economic crisis.

”We are starting to see signs of recovery. We have gained some volumes when the Thailand flooding prevented them from delivering. I think these will be translated into actual shipments starting the second half of the year,” said Francisco Ferrer, President of Ems Components Assembly, Inc.

Due to increasing orders, Ferrer said his company is hiring 800 people this month and more next month.

“(With these), we will probably end up the year at the 2010 level which was US$31 billion of exports. We lost 25% (of revenues) in 2011 and we are going back to 25% (this year),” he noted.
He added that the United States and Europe remained their biggest market.


Meanwhile, handicraft exporters hope to achieve a 5-10% growth this year after more orders were received during the Manila FAME International (MFI).

Dennis Orlina, president of the Philippine Chamber of Handicraft Industries, Inc (PCHI), said negotiated sales during the MFI were estimated at $3 million. With this, Orlina said an aggressive 10% growth in 2012 from last year’s estimated $80 to $90 million revenues is attainable.

Orlina said the United States and Europe were still the biggest buyers during the show, with a few from Germany and the Netherlands.

Holiday decor

The outlook for the country’s holiday décor industry is also promising, said Romeo P. Balderrama, Jr., president of Christmas Decor Producers and Exporters Association of the Philippines (CDPEAP), following the release of revenue results of MFI.

”Holiday décor was the highest selling sector during the show. Bulk of these was sales under negotiation and booked orders which will be delivered this year,” he noted.

Balderrama, also the President of Sarilinlikha Novelties, is likewise confident industry players will get more foreign buyers next year from new markets.

“Our target is the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries. But we will continue selling in the United States because in the last Manila FAME show, it remained the biggest buyer of Philippine exports even as it is experiencing financial difficulties.”

However, Balderrama stressed that the projected revenues are not that high compared to previous years’ performance.

”We are able to sell to high-end buyers but volume requirements are low. These are not the same with mass-produced items with high volume,” he reasoned.

Nonetheless, Balderrama said exporters opt to serve the high-end market to avoid competing with their Chinese counterparts selling mass-produced goods.

Organic foods

Pamela Henares, board member of the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation, Inc, said that with the global trends towards healthy food, natural and organic food also shows bright prospects.

A 2000 USDA Gain Report estimated that the Philippine organic industry generated P250 million or $6.2 million, and was increasing annually.  On the other hand, the global organic food market is worth $65 billion and is forecast to reach $96.5 billion in 2014.

Likewise, furniture makers are optimistic on achieving a 15% growth in 2012 from the expected flat revenues this year, as the huge local market continues to make up for the lower export sales.

To boost exports however, Myrna Bituin, Managing Director of Betis Crafts, Inc, believes there is business opportunity in tapping new markets, including Asia particularly China, as well as India and Russia.

”China is a market that we should not be afraid; we should look at it as an opportunity. Just like us, they also want to buy imported (products). But for me, I would always look into products that they do not touch. These are the high-end one and carved items,” she said.


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