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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        30  May 2011

Philippines hopes to export more

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The Aquino administration wants the Philippines to become Asia’s exports trendsetter by 2016.

Under its Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2011 to 2016, the government will initiate and implement 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.

“The Philippines needs to be known as a country offering vast opportunities for trade and tourism and will be promoted as a conducive investment haven, now open for business,” the economic blueprint read.

The plan intends to pursue the development and promotion of “Brand Philippines.” The objective is to achieve among global buyers a “Philippine First” mindset by creating a distinct Philippine brand widely accepted and recognized in the global market connoting quality, value and reliability.

According to the MTPDP, a new tourism marketing campaign/branding shall be developed in consonance with the country’s international image and trade promotion thrust, with emphasis given to the country’s vast retirement potential and epicurean attractions.

The plan calls for judicious selection and programming in mounting a compelling and meaningful Philippine participation in various cultural and tourism fairs and trade expositions worldwide with preference for those sanctioned by foreign governments, global associations and inter-government organizations.

In this regard, the plan calls for increasing the annual merchandise exports to $91.5 billion and services exports of $28.9 million.

At an annual growth rate of 10 percent, electronics exports are expected to hit more than $50 million by 2016.

The Aquino administration also wants cumulative approved investments of P3.8 trillion, a doubling of annual visitor arrivals to 6 million and $4.5 billion in annual tourist receipts by the end of its term.

The government will also create six million jobs by 2016, about 4.6 million of which will come from industry and services.

The MTPDP targets a 7 percent to 8 percent annual growth target, a million new jobs each year. The economic growth target implies a tripling of per capita income to about $5,000 in two decades.

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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.

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