Trade deals, halal production key to export growth – DTI

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 9) — Exports may be fueled by trade deals and production of halal products, the Department of Trade and Industry said Wednesday.

Trade Sercetary Ramon Lopez was quizzed during the House Committee on Appropriations hearing on the 2021 budget on efforts to boost exports in the wake of the pandemic.

Lopez cited the planned signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a trade deal among the Assocation of Southeast Asian Nations, South Korea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and China.

This is expected to be take place in November.

Another move is the production of halal products, Lopez said, adding that this is a new market segment. Halal is the process of preparing goods that follow Muslim standards.

Earlier reports said the global halal market is valued at $3.3 trillion. In 2018, the country’s halal exports reached $560 million.

Lopez also said free trade deals would also help fuel exports

The country is in talks with South Korea for the export of more bananas. Lopez said on the agenda is lower tariffs on Philippine bananas to compete with Ecuador and Vietnam.

The Trade chief said there is a need to work on the supply side of the equation.

“If we are to promote the increase in production capacity diyan dapat pamunta yung support (that is where support should go). How do we strengthen local capacity, manufacturing capacity to be able to export more,” he said.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show that as of June 2020, exports declined by 13.3 percent, still lower than last year’s growth of 3.9 percent, but an improvement from the previous month’s contraction of 26.9 percent.