, NOVEMBER 12, 2011 (MANILA TIMES) Written by : Darwin G. Amojelar Senior Reporter SALES abroad of Philippine-made goods fell at their fastest pace in more than two years in September mostly because of a sharp decline in electronics shipment and weak demand from Japan, US and China.

Data from the National Statistics Office showed that exports went down by 27.4 percent to $3.88 billion in September from $5.34 billion last year.

Month-on-month, shipments fell by 6 percent from $4.123 billion in August.

The September figure was the fastest drop since May 2009 when exports plummeted 26.92 percent.

In the first nine months, exports dropped by 3.1 percent to $37.185 billion from $38.362 billion a year earlier.

Electronics, which accounted for 46.8 percent of the total exports revenue fell 47.9 percent to $1.81 billion last September from $3.478 billion last year.

On a monthly basis, electronic products contracted by 12.6 percent from $2.074 billion posted in August.

“I don’t see any quick recovery in exports growth in the horizon. The world economy will undergo a slow new normal growth. Worst case, a recession in Europe; best case, slow growth in the neighborhood of 1 percent to 2 percent, “ Benjamin Diokno, economics professor at the University of the Philippines said.

“The official exports growth target of between 9 percent [and] 10 percent for the full year is virtually unreachable. For it to be achieved there has to be a dramatic reversal of fortune in the fourth quarter—exports have to grow by 47.3 percent,” Diokno said.

“My worst fear is that the plunge in exports is structural. The genre of Philippine electronics exports [is] not in line with what the new generation of electronics products demand. From January to September last year, electronics products accounted for 61.2 percent of total exports; that share is down to 50.5 percent this year. Diversification is happening not deliberately but is being imposed by changing market conditions,” he added.

Receipts from the top 10 exports reached $2.666 billion, or 68.8 percent of the total.

Japan emerged as the Philippines’ top market with revenues of $685.16 million, or 11.7 percent lower than the $775.69 million a year ago.

The People’s Republic of China was the second top market with purchases of $547.64 million, down by 18.5 percent from $672.26 million a year earlier.

The US accounted for 13.4 percent of total exports, with purchases worth $518.73 million, or 7.1 percent lower than last year’s $558.60 million.

Receipts from the country’s top 10 markets amounted to $3.058 billion, or 78.9 percent of the total.

Philippines Asia’s most difficult place for business

MANILA STANDARD - THE Philippines is the most difficult country in Asia to do business in, CNBC said in its listing this month of The World’s 10 Worst Countries for Business.

CNBC said its rankings were based on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business study, which rated the Philippines the fourth worst place in the world to do business.

The rankings also take into account 10 leading indicators, including the ease of starting a business, getting construction permits, paying taxes, and investor protection laws, CNBC said.

The Philippines, the lowest ranked Asian country on the list, attracted only 2.5 percent of the $76.5 billion of foreign direct investment that flowed to the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2010, CNBC said.

“Despite having massive untapped mineral wealth, a key geographical location between Southeast and North Asia and a large, growing English-speaking population, the country has fallen behind its neighbors in economic growth.

“Foreign businesses are wary of the Philippine’s unstable legal system, violence, and bureaucracy,” CNBC said.

“Its ease of doing business ranking from the World Bank fell a further two spots this year from 2010. The country also ranks among the lowest when it comes to starting a business, and resolving insolvency, with the latter taking more than five-and-a-half years, compared with an average one year and seven months in OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries.”

In Asia, the Philippines’ ranking was worse than Indonesia’s and India’s.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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