May polls seen to spur demand for gift items-A A +A
Saturday, January 19, 2013
GIFT and holiday decor manufacturers expect a whopping 100-percent revenue increase in the domestic market this year amid higher demand related to the May elections.
Nora Halili Lao, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. trustee for the holiday decor and giftwares sector, said the increase in revenues from the local market can help make up for the expected flat growth in exports.
Lao said the demand for corporate gifts such as bags, caps, mugs, umbrella and shopping bags is high before elections.
"Poll-related spending will boost our sector. We target a good market," she said.
Lao believed that the booming property market could likewise buoy growth this year. For instance, condominiums need furnishing items like candles, hanging lampshades and chimes.
She added that industry players are keen to participate in more trade shows to capture more local buyers.
Lao noted that the sector is focusing on the local market amid weakening export markets. Last year's export revenue was estimated at only $72 million.
She pointed that the low demand in financial crisis-hit United States (US) and European countries continues to hit the local manufacturers.
US and Europe account for about 80 percent of the sector's export sales. Other markets include Australia, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
"There is a marked slowdown in US imports. US trade remains weak following last year's elections. This might carry over into 2013. Also, exports are expected to be flat because of Europe's problem," she added.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 20, 2013.