MANILA — The Philippine government is geared up to reveal the latest version of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) for the years 2023-2028, with a formidable goal of $240.5 billion in exports over the forthcoming six years. The country’s eight major export sectors will be the key driving force behind this projected growth.

As per the PEDP, the initial aim for 2023 is set at $126.8 billion, which is expected to steadily increase year on year, reaching $143.4 billion in 2024, $163.6 billion in 2025, $186.7 billion in 2026, and $212.1 billion in 2027 before finally achieving its end target of $240.5 billion in 2028. With this mission, the government anticipates socio-economic development and overall progress for the nation.

According to the latest projections, the electronics and electrical exports sector is poised to maintain its leading position in contributing to the country’s economy. It is estimated that by 2028, this sector will achieve a target of $106.4 billion, which is a significant increase from the $53.76 billion recorded in 2023. Alongside this, the IT-business process management (IT-BPM) sector is also expected to play a crucial role, with projected contributions of $63.2 billion by 2028, up from $36.1 billion this year.

In addition to these two sectors, six others are set to drive the country’s exports. These include minerals, agriculture and agri-based exports, transport products, wearables, fashion accessories and travel goods, chemicals, and home furnishings. Combined, these sectors are expected to account for 88.5% of total exports, with an estimated export value of $213 billion by 2028.

The PEDP has made several projections on the expected growth of various sectors of the economy. The minerals industry, for instance, is expected to make a significant contribution of $7.7 billion in the first year of the program and grow steadily to reach a whopping $19.4 billion by 2028. Similarly, the agriculture and agri-based exports sector is projected to generate about $5.1 billion in 2023, with an expected increase to $8.9 billion by 2028.

Also, the transport products segment is anticipated to start with a sizeable $4.2 billion this year and show impressive growth potential, with a projection of reaching $6.8 billion by 2028. The wearables, fashion accessories, and travel goods market is also not left behind, as they are estimated to add an impressive $2.7 billion and surge to $4.5 billion by the sixth year of the PEDP. However, the chemicals sector is set to start with $1.7 billion and end at $2.4 billion. Lastly, home furnishings are expected to export $1.1 billion this year, with an improvement projection to $1.4 billion by 2028.

Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., the current President of PhilExport, has recently commended the PEDP 2023-2028’s approach in providing industry-specific support. The program focuses on stratifying support for industries, enabling the government to provide individualized strategic assistance to each of the four priority industry clusters.

These clusters are composed of eight major sectoral export groups, namely: industrial, manufacturing, and transportation (IMT); technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT); health and life sciences (HLS); and modern basic needs and resilient economy (MBNRE). The level of government intervention and support will be based on the specific requirements of each cluster.

He highlights that the MBNRE cluster holds immense potential for high-quality products with substantial local content, particularly in agriculture, manufacturing, and processing. This sector plays a vital role in supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises, giving rise to innovative design products and creative economy opportunities. According to him, this catch-all category is where the best-suited items come in from MSMEs to create high-value products.

More on these, Ortiz-Luis highlighted that although the MBNRE industry may not account for a substantial share of the nation’s export portfolio, it is the arena where our business players have demonstrated their mettle. Despite turbulent times, this sector has shown great resilience.

With the Export Development Council giving its green light to the plan, Ortiz-Luis is optimistic that the private sector will provide robust backing for the initiative. Furthermore, he expressed satisfaction that the PEDP has been sanctioned in the year of its intended launch and will span six years.