THE government is expanding further its overseas markets for export products to seize more opportunities as it aims for higher export revenue target for 2016.
Emmanuel Esguerra, Deputy Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said the updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP) has committed higher export target than the draft Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).
The Export Development Council (EDC), the government-private sector body overseeing export development, has proposed for a lower export goal of $101 billion to $104 billion for 2016 from the original $120 billion in the draft PEDP.
To improve market access for local products, Esguerra said the country aims to maximize opportunities in the regional and global integration.
“ASEAN integration brings to the table opportunities that can help the country in achieving inclusive growth,” he said during the general membership meeting of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT).
The NEDA official said the ASEAN Economic Community is a huge market comprising a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.3 trillion and 600 million people.
Esguerra said the Generalized Scheme of Preferential Plus (GSP+) of the European Union (EU) will also provide export opportunities for the Philippines.
GSP+ is a program under the EU Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme that offers preferential tariffs to exports from eligible countries in the form of zero tariffs on all products covered by the scheme.
Esguerra added the Philippines is also initiating discussions on possible free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Likewise, he said local exporters are eyeing for new markets particularly Russia, Brazil and Middle East.
Apart from expanding market access, Esguerra said the country will accelerate trade promotion efforts.
He said trade missions have been organized to India, France, South Korea, Indonesia and Dubai.
In 2014, Esguerra said the government is hopeful to meet targets of $69 billion in merchandise exports and $23 billion in services exports.