Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, advised Philippine exporters to focus on product quality and design to be more competitive in the world market in a government press release.
“This is what will distinguish us in the foreign markets. We have to continually come up with new products or products that excite. That is why we call it products with passion,” Domingo said during the recent National Export Congress, the press release said.
Domingo was referring to DTI’s new trade promotion logo with the text “TRADE Philippines: products with passion”.
He noted that the Philippines is not the cheapest place to produce goods since the country’s labor cost is high. The Philippines, particularly Metro Manila, is the second highest in terms of labor cost in the ASEAN. It is next to Singapore.
He said labor cost in the Philippines is higher than Thailand and Malaysia. These two economies are significantly more advanced than the Philippines, and yet labor cost here is higher,” Domingo said. He also said that the Philippines has been able to compensate for this drawback with the country’s strong non-electronics exports, which include competitive products made with design and craftsmanship, the press release said.
He added that the country’s exports increased by over 7 percent in spite of the weakness in the electronics exports, which accounts for almost half of total merchandise exports.
The DTI gave citations to top export performers in sectors such as processed coconut, furniture and furnishings, house wares, garments and textile, ready-to-wear, fresh food, beverages, marine and aquaculture, processed food, shipbuilding, motor vehicle parts, and electronics, the press release added.*