DEPT  OF  TRADE  OPTIMISTIC  EXPORTS  TO  GROW  BY  10%  THIS  YEAR

MALACANANG, October 15, 2004 (Office  of the  Press  Secretary) Buoyed up by the 8.5 percent export growth last August, Trade and Industry Secretary Cesar Purisima has expressed confidence that export figures could reach nine to 10 percent at the end of the year, much higher than the six percent target for 2004.

In his report to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during a Joint National Economic Development Authority-Export Development Council (NEDA-EDC) Meeting in MalacaŮang, Purisima explained what the EDC has done to achieve a higher target, saying they reviewed the trade policy and worked on procedure simplification.

"We also worked on helping our exporters achieve standards, industry clustering, the financial aspects, as well as collaboration with local government units," he said.

Pointing out to the major strokes and major consideration for the next three years (2005-2007), Purisima said the EDCís target is $50 billion exports for 2006.

"Our longer term goal is ultimately to have a per capita of $1,000 per person in the country. We hope to achieve that by the year 2020," he said.

Purisima said he expects the countryís exportís this year to reach $39.85 billion, and next year, $43.64 billion, with a growth rate next year and 2006 up 10 percent.

"Our focus will be to continue to look at what is called Ďhigh-impactí markets where 98 percent of the Philippine exports go," he said.

Purisima, who is also the EDC chairman, enumerated the following as priority sectors: electronics, fashion garments, jewelry, medical services, marine products, food construction materials, gift wares, IT services, construction services, logistical services, and tourism.

He also discussed the EDCís job generation program for the coming six years, which focuses on five sectors: the micro and small and medium enterprises, agri-business, tourism, mining, and information and communications technology (ICT) exports.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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