The Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (Fobap) asked the government support to address roadblocks to the growth of garments and hard goods sectors. Fobap president Robert Young said his group’s export sales of garments were projected to hit $1 billion, while those of hard goods were seen to reach $200 million in 2016. Fobap said among the major roadblocks to the growth of garment and hard goods industry were high power cost, wages and financing.
Other Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam partly subsidise power, wages and financing cost of their dollar-earning industries, Young said. He also underscored the need for the country to invest massively in infrastructure development.
Fobap also pushed for the establishment of more factories to meet import orders. The group sees garments exports increasing 20 per cent in the first half of 2017. The high jump in revenues of the garments sector is due to the fact that buyers are now seeing the other players in the Asean countries a little bit facing some risks as far as political and social aspects are concerned. They are not putting all their eggs in one basket so they are placing some orders in the Philippines, Young said.
Meanwhile, he urged companies and industries to upgrade the skills of their workers, as the machines being used by neighboring Asian countries were already modernised.