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 GSP-Plus status to Philippines: Exporters hope 12pc rapid progress in 2015  

 GSP-Plus status to Philippines: Exporters hope 12pc rapid progress in 2015  

MANILA: After being given the (Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus) GSP-Plus status the exporters of the Philippines hope for the rapid growth in next year which stands at 9.2 percent annually at present with $51.769 billion in the 10th month of this year.

SEIPI said that it expects overseas sales of electronics — which make up more than half of merchandise exports — to grow 7-11% this year, compared to the first revised forecast of 5-8% given in September and an original projection of 5%. Electronics exports grew 6% annually to $20.953 billion in the 10 months to October. But a power crisis that could hit Luzon, which contributes 70% to national output, in March-July next year could temper growth of electronics exports to 5-7%.

Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr., president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport), said in a telephone interview that he expects “better export performance next year compared to this year around 10-12%  due to the continued growth of electronics, increase in global demand… and recent EU GSP+) perks,” coupled with lower transport cost in the face of subdued global oil prices.

This projection, according to Mr. Ortiz-Luis, is expected to be discussed by Philexport’s Board of Trustees in the “first quarter next year.”

The 10-12% projection for next year compares to the 9% growth rate in the draft 2014-2016 Philippine Development Export Plan submitted to President Benigno S.C. Aquino III last month, said Mr. Ortiz-Luis, who is also private sector vice-chairman of the Export Development Council. This, Mr. Ortiz-Luis said, “is because recent developments, such as the higher projection for electronics this year and approved GSP+ perks, were taken into account in our projection, which is yet to be discussed by the board next year.”

Philippine participation in the EU’s GSP+ will open that market starting Dec. 25 to even more local products than under the current regular GSP program, while the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI) has set a preliminary, “conservative” 2015 electronics export growth projection of 5-7%.

Sectors expected to perform well next year are “electronics, woodcraft and furniture, machinery and transport equipment, and also agriculture, as it would benefit the most from (new) EU trade perks,” Mr. Ortiz-Luis said.