EXPORTERS said they expect shipments to grow as markets reopen and industry members make progress on their digitalization efforts.  

George T. Barcelon, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) chairman, said the lowering of alert levels in the Philippines and progress on the vaccination program, are also vital to the economic recovery.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that exports in the nine months to September rose 18% year on year to $55.68 billion.  

“Electronics are expected to continue to be the biggest dollar earner, with industrial, medical, automotive, and telecom electronics products as the growth drivers,” Mr. Barcelon said in a statement over the weekend.  

He said Philexport is implementing a “Future-Ready” program, known as P30, focusing on technology upgrades and closer collaboration with partners.

The program features the AI-powered Philexport portal and the preparation of business continuity plans.

Mr. Barcelon said the Philexport portal offers business matching services, online transactions, and marketing support.

“At Philexport, we have also started the digitization of files and (are) now moving to the development of systems that will support the portal and our online operations. We also intend to share these templates with our business support organizations and company members,” Mr. Barcelon said.

Mr. Barcelon said the Export Connect collaboration platform will help members coordinate with government agencies on regulatory requirements.

Separately, Employers Confederation of the Philippines  president Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr. said the organization is working with the Labor department and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to upgrade worker skills ahead of the economy’s digital transformation.  

“We are handholding the micro, small and medium enterprises to pivot to sectors and platforms that are successfully exhibiting resilience and increasing demand,” Mr. Ortiz-Luis said.  — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave