THE Department of Trade and Industry is eyeing a steady growth in exports within the next five years on the back of the economy’s robust growth and the ongoing global recovery.

DTI Export Managing Bureau (EMB) Director Senen M. Perlada told reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Slingshot startup and innovation summit that they still see the total exports growth for 2017 to be at around 6.54% to 7.54% or $74.7 billion to $80.4 billion, with service exports taking the lead.

“[The performance of services is] very fast. By the end of the plan, the services will account for about 50% already of total exports by 2022. At present it’s just at 32% to 34%.”

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that goods exports grew 9.4% to $5.51 billion in August. Growth slowed from 11% in July but represented a turnaround from the revised 1.8% contraction in August 2016.

Year-to-date merchandise exports totalled $42.105 billion, up 13.3%.

Mr. Perlada added that the growth projection will be factored in the new Philippine Export Development Plan 2018-2022.

By 2022, EMB expects that the export revenue range would be around $122 to $131 million, riding on the back of a growing economy.

“Well, in terms of recovery of global demand which is happening now, actually the strength of the US dollar against the peso is a bonus. Please take note: the peso is not weak. The dollar is strong. So that’s what’s helping us right now, so, with the recovery of the global markets, especially the consumer markets, our goods exports are also growing,” he added.

“A lot of people fear what’s going to happen to services but eventually it’s going to be business decisions. It’s going to be how good we are in providing the service. I’m talking about the IT-BPM (information technology-business process management) services.”

However, Mr. Perlada noted that the grow may also slow down but cautioned that the magnitude is not as big.

“The target for IT-BPM which consists of 65% to 70% of total service export. So far, they’ve been very good at it and so far we’ve been able to capture a good percent from the global (export), which is already at 15%. Remember, your growth might be small, but we are not only looking at the US and other markets now – we’re also looking at the emerging markets. Of course, New Zealand, Australia is there, Japan is also growing, so we’re looking at being able to diversify this one because the market – the base is going to be wider for your consumers.”

When it comes to product exports, Mr. Perlada said electronics will also take the lead. At present, semiconductors dominate the country’s export goods.

“But some of the agriculture products is really picking up a lot like the coconut oil. Everything coconut. Despite the bad drop, because there is a need for costumer experience – that’s what’s important.” – A.G.A. Mogato