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Govt expects exports to top $100b in 2016

Economic managers expect total exports to exceed the $100-billion mark for the first time in 2016, despite the global uncertainties and threat of El Niño dry spell.

A report presented by the Trade Department during the economic briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City Wednesday showed that exports, including goods and services, were projected to reach a range of $94.6 billion to $102.2 billion in 2016.

The figures would be higher than the 2015 forecast range of of $88.7 billion to $91.9 billion.

The targets set for 2015 takes cognizance of the anticipated economic slowdown in Japan, the US and China – the top three largest markets for Philippine exports – and the impact of past natural calamities on domestic supply of raw materials such the El Niño weather phenomenon.

The department said the deceleration of economic activities in top export markets was expected to result in slower-than-expected growth of Philippine exports of manufactured products and agro-based and resource-based commodities.

Meanwhile, the Trade Department said investment commitments in 2016 were expected to reach P779.6 billion, higher than the projected P719-billion projects this year.

The report said the Board of Investments had an investment target of P417.5 billion for 2016 while the Philippine Economic Zone Authority had P362.1 billion.

The Trade Department expressed hope that investments would pick up from the 10-percent projected increase in 2015 to P719.4 billion from P634.2 billion in 2014.

The 2015 investment target of BoI was based on the 10-percent target growth under the Philippine Development Plan.

The report showed that for 2016, approved investments were expected to continue to increase at a slower rate of 7 percent, as the Investment Priorities Plan was now more focused on fewer, more strategic sectors.

Peza’s target is based on performance in the previous years with significant consideration of the global market situations.

The department,noted that investor confidence remained strong, as manifested by the growing number of inbound investment missions while outbound investment promotional activities in the past years resulted in many targeted companies starting their due diligence visits and even setting up operation in the country.

Industries such as the information technology and business process management industry and aerospace have embarked on the implementation of an aggressive investment promotion program.

Another positive development is the growing interest of investment promotion agency counterparts of other countries to partner with Philippine’s investment promotion agencies to collaborate in enhancing the flow of investments through various promotional activities.

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