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Expert: Exports will increase by 5% in 2023.

According to a Sunday economist, merchandise exports can expand this year, but slower than the 5.6 percent growth seen in 2017.

According to Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), exports will likely increase by 5% this year despite the possibility of a recession in the world’s largest economy, the United States.

“For the upcoming months, the recent easing of some global commodity prices amid risk of US economic slowdown would also somewhat be a challenge for exports,” the speaker stated.

Last year, export revenue increased by 5.6 percent to USD 78.84 billion.

Total export sales stood at USD6.53 billion as of March this year, a lesser decline from the previous month’s -18.1 percent at an annual pace of -9.1 percent.

According to Ricafort, a fundamental improvement in imports and exports could result from the economy’s continued opening up in the upcoming months.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, higher global interest rates, and more aggressive rate hikes, which could slow down trade and the world economy, could offset this, he said.

However, Ricafort asserted that some global supply chain interruptions for various goods, including electronics and other manufactured goods, mostly brought on by the pandemic since 2020, would still result in more demand for Philippine exports.

“The country’s membership in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the largest free trade agreement in the world and one that China leads would help attract more FDIs (foreign direct investments) to locate there as a production or marketing base, as well as an access point to larger export markets of the other RCEP member countries in the region and other parts of the world,” he continued.

To boost exports, the government will unveil the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2023–2028 next month.

The PEDP will overcome production bottlenecks, create a strong and cutting-edge export environment, and boost the Philippines’ market share internationally.

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