ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippines expects exports to drop
He said the peso is likely to stay where it is right now "at least the early part going to the first half of 2011."
At present, the foreign exchange rate stood at P44 against the US dollar. "All of the exporters are experiencing the weakening of the dollar [which] also shows that our traditional market [US and Europe] are also not robust as [they] used to be," Paderanga said.
He said growth next year may still come in at double digits, but lower than this year's 15 percent target.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which earlier forecast a 10 percent growth for next year, said the number is subject to another review before the end of the year, with the likelihood of a downward revision.
"We will have to review our forecast given what is happening in the global economy. There is a continued weakness in global economic activity and this could influence our exports," BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said.
He said the expected slowdown would also stem from base effects given the abnormally high growth this year.
But "what we are concerned about is really the market," Paderanga said, adding that the government is hopeful that growth will come from the country's new markets.
"There's an increasing trade with Asian rim. That's been noticed in the past few years," he said.
Merchandise exports to East Asia in October accounted for 41.4 percent of the total, while shipments to Asean member-countries represented 25.8 percent.
Sales to the European Union and the US accounted for 11 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively. Data from the National Statistics Office showed that export revenues grew by 37 percent to $43 billion in the first 10 months this year.
The expansion was led by the electronics sector, demand for which recovered this year following a steep slowdown in 2009.
Economists said that in times of crisis, consumers skip buying goods considered as non-essential like electronics, but these products were one of the most attractive for consumers in times of recovery.
This year's recovery of the Philippine export sector, whose earnings declined more than 20 percent in 2009, came as the global economy rebounded from a recession last year.
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