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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        10  June 2011

Philippine exports rise

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Overseas sales of Philippine-made goods are likely to grow by more than 10 percent this year on the back of higher demand of coconut oil, garments and furniture, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

In a briefing, DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo told reporters that despite the decline in electronics exports, the country "could exceed 10-percent growth later in the year."

"If the coconut oil, the garments, the furniture and other exports like fruit continued to grow at the pace of the first quarter, that means in the second half of the year should be a very, very good number," he added.

Data from the National Statistics Office showed that sales of coconut oil went up by 80.07 percent to $466.84 million in the first quarte, while furniture exports amounted to $385.7 million, up by 53.47 percent.

Exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories amounted to $464.6 million, up by 17 percent.

Domingo said that electronics, which account for about 60 percent of the total exports, are expected to post a strong recovery in the second half of the year. He said that the best protection from the impact of the external environment is to diversify.

Ernie Santiago, president of the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, earlier said the 8 to 12 percent electronic exports target this year is "very difficult" to achieve because of the disasters in Japan and the political tension in Middle East and Northern Africa region.

In March, electronic exports fell by 7.4 percent to $2.238 billion from 2010's $2.416 billion. This led the first quarter performance to contract by 1.93 percent to $6.39 billion from $6.52 billion in the same period last year.

Santiago said exports for the second quarter will be flat, but theindustry expects strong third and fourth quarters.

He said that electronic exports should grow 10 percent through 2016 to meet the $50 billion target under the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan for 2011 to 2016. Under the MTPDP, the Aquino administration wants the Philippines to become Asia's exports trendsetter by 2016.

To attain this, the government will initiate a national branding and marketing campaign to promote the country not only as an investment site and tourist destination but as producer and supplier of quality world-class products and services.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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