Exporters air growth worry

THIS YEAR’S 10% export growth goal has become a “fighting target” given unresolved concerns such as unrest in the oil-producing Arab world and the European Union’s debt problems, an industry official said.

The government, however, remains confident that 2011’s marks, particularly for the country’s key electronics shipments, will be hit given expected improvements later in the year.

“What was once an easy export growth target is now a fighting target,” said Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr., Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) president.

“It’s not just the Japanese disaster we have to deal with, but we have to worry about the impacts of the problem … regarding the euro zone debt crisis and the Middle East unrest,” he told BusinessWorld on Saturday.

A day earlier, the government announced that merchandise exports had grown by 19.1% year on year in April, the highest since January and overcoming expectations of a further slowdown caused by the loss of business from disaster-hit Japan.

The growth, however, was slower than the 28.8% posted in April 2010. On a monthly basis, exports slid by 1.2%, reversing last year’s 12.6% rise.

“If the April figure did not spike, the month-on-month figure would be even lower,” Mr. Ortiz-Luis had said on Friday.

Read more at Business World


Con Yap