PHILIPPINE exporters are looking to penetrate new markets to increase revenues by as much as three percent in 2017.

“(In) 2017, for total exports, we are still looking at zero to three percent (growth)… (We will hit $100 billion revenues) in or before 2020 and then $120 billion by 2022,” said Senen Perlada, executive director of the Export Development Council and director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Export Marketing Bureau.

Perlada identified some of these new markets as South Africa, Israel, Iran, and Russia.

“We are trying to see whether we can pick up something from maybe as far away as South Africa.

We want to be able to develop more with Israel especially for startups and be able to gain something from them also in terms of investments,” he said.

South Africa serves as the gateway to the African markets and its more than 260 million consumers.

Opportunities for investments and trade there include advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, automotive and components, and capital equipment, among others.

Perlada also considered Iran as a huge market opportunity.

“They (Iran) have been very keen on being able to trade and engage…. My gut feel is that there is a lot that they want to be able to engage with the rest of the world, which they have been prevented from doing so because of the sanctions,” he noted.

Iran, the second-largest economy in the Middle East and North African region after Saudi Arabia, offers opportunities for trade and investment in the health care and pharmaceutical industry, science and technology, and retail.

Perlada further said Russia is also a “very important” market.

In 2016, total merchandise exports declined 4.4 percent to $56.23 billion from $58.83 billion in the same period in the previous year. (Philexport News and Features)