PhilExport's Ortiz-Luis sees exports to end flat this year, 6% growth in 2020
Philippine Exports Confederation (PhilExport), Inc. president and CEO Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said on Monday exports could "end flat" this year and could grow by 6 percent in 2020.
In a forum in Manila, Ortiz-Luis blamed the ongoing trade war between the United States and China for this year's weak exports.
Unlike Vietnam, which is benefiting from the trade tension, he said the Philippines only gets less.
But he expressed hope that by next year, there would be resolution on the US-China trade war and the country's exports could increase by six percent coming from a lower base.
Similar as before, he said the main driver for export growth would be electronics.
He also hoped that the country could export more agricultural products.
Ortiz-Luis, also chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted the possible revival of the garment industry.
"Hopefully also, there could be some relaxation on mining," he added.
The government's interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee, in its meeting last week, slashed the assumption for export growth in the short term to 1 percent from 2 percent in July and 4 percent in 2020 from earlier 6 percent due to "continuing unresolved trade tensions" between the US and China, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado earlier said.
Meanwhile, in the same forum, lawyer Sonny Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers, urged Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to come up with the results of the investigation on extralegal killings of trade union leaders.
He claimed that since the start of the Duterte administration up to June this year, 43 union leaders and members have been killed. Celerina Monte/DMS