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Dec 6, 2017 @ 19:44

Lopez eyes trade surplus by the end of Duterte’s term in 2022


MANILA — Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is aiming to make the Philippines a trade surplus by 2022.

At the sidelines of the National Export Congress Tuesday, Lopez said structural reforms would require time before leading the country to trade surplus but he hoped that the Philippines would at least narrow down its trade gap by the end of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“With investments coming in you are building up capacity year on year until such time you really have the capacity to supply the requirements of the economy and exporters, and send outside to export,” said Lopez.

“Your production capacity should be that high. Activities should be export-oriented. You go beyond raw materials and simple processing, you climb up the value chain for higher value credits,” he said.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that Philippine trade deficit for January to September 2017 decline by 3 percent to $18.9 billion from a deficit of $19.5 billion in the same period in 2016.

This was an improvement from an increment of 152 percent in 2016 and trade surplus surge of 323 percent in 2015.

The declining trade deficit was driven by faster exports growth for the first nine months of the year. (PNA)

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