Every first week of December, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in collaboration with the Export Development Council and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc., conducts the National Exporters’ Week (NEW), as provided for by Presidential Proclamation 931 series of 1996, signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos, and House Resolution No. 33.
This annual event serves as a way for the government and the private sector to assert their commitment to export promotion and development.
The theme of this year’s NEW is “SPICE Up to Scale Up: Expand Exports for Inclusive Prosperity. “SPICE” is an abbreviation of five different actions: stimulate, permeate, innovate, connect and expand.
The highlight of the National Exporters’ Week is the National Exporters’ Congress (NEC), which is being held today, Dec. 7, at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. It is expected to draw hundreds of delegates, including exporters, and those from business support organizations, government agencies, the private sector, and the academe.
NEC will feature seminars on subjects concerning seizing market prospects, the ease of doing business, and innovative approaches to attain business sustainability, among others. Those who will give attendees insights into these matters are officials of the trade, agriculture, finance, and science and technology agencies, and other invited resource people.
“This year, the congress seeks to provide Philippine exporters a venue where they could discuss emerging trends, market opportunities, innovative ideas, and technologies,” said Senen M. Perlada, director of DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau.
For the first time, representatives from the public and private sectors can organize business matching meetings and networking at the National Exports’ Congress’ Business Matching Hub, allowing participants to come together to converse about business growth and forge collaborations that can help strengthen the Philippine export industry.
Another first at the congress is the Logistics Services Philippines (LSPH) Exhibition, where exporters can gain access to the full range of logistics services from around the country and engage with LSPH providers.
There will also be an Export Enabler Exhibit, where exporters interface with various government agencies and business organizations to help them expand their current network and get updates on market regulations and the export industry in general.
The National Exporters’ Week has also featured “Usapang Exports 2018 Seminars” that dealt with the following topics: “Startups for Exporters” last Dec. 3, “Export Opportunities: Learning from the Trade Attaches” last Dec. 4 and the “International Certification and Standards for Greater Market Access for GDH (gifts, decors and houseware) and Wearables Sectors” last Dec. 5.
The Philippines has been making strides in building up its export industry. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in July of this year, total exports grew 0.3% to $5.85 billion from $5.83 billion in the same month in 2017. The following month, total exports grew even faster, at 3.1%, from $5.98 billion during the same period in 2017 to $6.16 billion. In September, however, the streak was broken when the value of the total exports fell 2.6% to $5.83 billion compared with $5.99 billion in September of 2017.
Electronic products were the country’s leading export, with total earnings of $3.41 billion and accounting for 58.6% of the total exports revenue in September. “This export commodity grew by 4.2%, from $3.28 billion export receipts in the same month of the previous year. Components/Devices (Semiconductors) comprised the biggest share of 43.9% among electronic products. It posted an increase of 2.6%, from $2.49 billion in September 2017 to $2.56 billion in September 2018,” PSA said.
The second top export of the country that month was machinery and other transport equipment, bringing in $343.61 million or 5.9% of the total exports revenue. Other manufactured goods ranked third with $313.20 million or 5.4% of the total export receipts.
Fresh bananas were also among the top exports, with $174.72 million in earnings or 3% of the total export revenues in September. Rounding out the top five were ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft and ships with $146.56 million.
Five of the other top exports, along with their sales, are the following: metal components ($121.55 million), gold ($93.68 million), coconut oil ($91.45 million), electronic equipment and parts ($89.83 million), and miscellaneous manufactured articles ($77.31 million).
“Total receipts from the top 10 major exports amounted to $4.87 billion or a share of 83.5% of the total export. This recorded an increase of 0.8% from the September 2017 export value of $4.83 billion,” the Philippine Statistics Authority said.