FILIPINO entrepreneurs are encouraged to tap the Latin America (LatAm) market, a US$5.3 trillion economy with over 600 million consumers, as they diversify their markets to increase exports given the economic slowdown brought about by the pandemic.
“This area is roughly about the size or slightly smaller than our Association of Southeast Asian consumer market. It’s a rapidly growing market and it has a very fast (rising) middle class. Obviously because especially at this time, we would like to really be able to diversify our export markets,” Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau director Senen Perlada said in a webinar.
Perlada said the top export markets in North and South America are Mexico (comprising 60 percent of the country’s total exports), Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama and Paraguay.
He said electronics make up 66 percent of the country’s merchandise exports to LatAm while carrageenan is also a big item.
“So basically it’s electronics but there is a lot that we can do in terms of non-electronics exports to LatAm. What about food? This is a sector that is a mutual interest to the two countries. Our number one food export to LatAm is desiccated coconut. Again, not surprising because actually the Philippines supplies roughly 80 percent of desiccated coconut to the rest of the world,” he said, also citing fresh and processed food, including fish and lobsters.
Perlada said the Philippines also aims to pursue export opportunities in higher value electronics products; motor vehicle parts; design-driven products such as homestyle, furniture and holiday decor; fashion accessories and jewelry; personal care products; organic products; and wines and spirits.
“Especially during this time of the pandemic where ‘good for me’ products, products that promote well-being and boost the immune system, are really experiencing very high demand,” he added. / PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES