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PIA Press Release

PGMA cites 10.5% exports growth for October 2007

Manila (18 December) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has lauded the 10.5 percent increase in merchandise exports for October 2007 after posting single-digit growth rates since February this year.

"I am pleased that our exports have posted this growth, which is due to the recovery of electronics and the strong performance of agro-based exports," the President said. "This is a clear indication that the exports industry continues to flourish."

"I have asked concerned government departments and agencies to explore ways to support the exports industry so as to bolster and sustain its growth," she added.

As a result of the favorable outputs from the electronics and agriculture sectors, year-to-date exports growth increased to 5.4 percent.

"After suffering two consecutive months of negative growth rates, exports of electronic products led by semiconductors increased by 9.4 percent to US$2.9 billion. The increase may be attributed to the customary increase in orders of electronic devices for the coming holiday season. In particular, consumer electronics increased by 111.6 percent to US$92.4 million," acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Augusto B. Santos said in a memorandum for the President.

Other electronic products also posted sturdy growth for the month such as office equipment (35.2%), control and instrumentation (78.5%), medical and industrial instrumentation (117.3%), and automotive electronics (65.3%), according to the National Statistics Office (NSO).

"I have been also informed by NEDA that shipments of total agro-based products increased by 51 percent due to strong growth of coconut products (105.3%), which continue to benefit from improved prices of coconut oil in the world market," the President noted.

Other agro-based products such as abaca fibers (48.8%), tobacco (42.9%), and shrimps and prawns (27.5%) also contributed to the strong export growth.

NEDA reported that overall shipments reached US$4.6 billion in October, the highest single month level for the year so far.

"This trend was also observed in other parts of the region as Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, and Singapore experienced strong exports growths during the month, which is traditionally the start of heightened business activity in preparation for the buildup in consumer spending during the holidays," Santos observed.

However, exports of garments continued to decline (-18.8%). So far, garments shipments managed to post only one month of positive growth for the year.

The United States remained the country's top export destination with a 17.7 percent share, followed by Japan with 14 percent, Hong Kong (12.8%), the Peoples' Republic of China (12.4%), and the Netherlands (7.7%). (OPS) [top]

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