February 23, 2024

Filipino exporters are advised to increase production and unlock export potential of handicrafts, wearables and cultural properties.

Citing the International Trade Centre’s Export Potential Assessment study, Rudolph Jay Velasco, chief trade and industry development specialist from Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Consumer and Industrial Division, said the country’s handicrafts, wearables, and cultural properties have $346 million of unrealized export potential.

Of the total export potential, $204M comprises growth-based export potential which is based on the projected economic growth of the Philippines and/or the demand growth in the target market.

“To benefit from these opportunities, there should be additional investments in production to ensure that we meet the additional demand. So the growth-based (export potential) is huge as compared to friction-based, which is an indication that we still have things to address in terms of our capacities to supply these products,” he said.

Velasco said $142M frictions-based export potential linked to a simple lack of market research, comprising missing information or difficulties to comply with non-tariff measures, mismatch between product characteristics, and consumer requirements and difficulties to find buyers.

“In the frictions-based, this is where most of the services of DTI are concentrated so we provide market and product intelligence. We provide information to reduce information and search costs and also market access concerns”.

Velasco said wood, paper, rubber, and plastics, which include wooden furniture, have the highest unrealized export potential of $122.14M.

These are followed by manufactured products; skins, leather, products thereof and footwear; minerals, metals and products thereof; apparel and textile products; and machinery and electronic equipment, he said.

Cultural property refers to all products of human creativity by which a people and a nation reveal their identity, including churches, mosque and other places of religious worships, schools and natural history specimens and sights, whether public or privately-owned, movable or immovable, and tangible or intangible.

He said the Philippines has a rich diverse cultural heritage, including indigenous crafts, historical artifacts, traditional textiles and even art works.

“It’s a wide array of types of products but they hold a very significant or importance for the exports, for the reason number one, the economic potential. So exporting cultural properties offers significant economic potential for the Philippines,” Velasco said.

“Exporting cultural items (also) serves as a form of cultural diplomacy. This strengthens international relations and ultimately enhances our country’s image around the world,” he added.

Velasco said the global trends are on sustainable fashion, high-tech wearables and culture-based experiences. – Press release