TAPP cites Cebu’s potential to seize export opportunities
A policy brief on Philippine seaports and shipping published by The Arangkada Philippines Project (TAPP) said Cebu has good potential seize many opportunities in boosting its furniture exports, if the Philippines were to pursue effective clustering system.
“Cebu has many opportunities for clusters in the furniture industry,” TAPP noted.
It pointed out that furniture manufacturers are spread around the Cebu City and could be consolidated into a planned area near a new modern port.
“Airport, port, and logistics infrastructure in various regional cluster areas should be developed to address the need of each kind of goods and its trade traffic,” it said.
“Most importantly, the cluster by its nature must aim to scale up, to lower costs, produce larger volumes, attract larger ships, and lower costs to become competitive in global markets.”
The paper also underscored the need to provide competitive incentives, including fiscal, which will attract domestic and foreign exporters to locate in selected product clusters.
The paper listed Philippine principal exports that the regional leadership can study to look for potential cluster expansion, including electronic products, other manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, woodcrafts and furniture, ignition wiring sets, chemicals, articles of apparel, other mineral products, metal components and coconut oil.
It mentioned Thailand which offers a successful model of industrial clustering.
“The quality of port infrastructure, port efficiency, and hub port connectivity to feeder ports need considerable improvement. The cost to export should be more competitive and excessive fees imposed by foreign shippers should be regulated,” it added.
The paper further said ports have been an important part of the country’s economic activity.
“Increasing global trade presents immense opportunity for Philippine ports to scale up to become more significant in intra-regional trade. Intra-Asia trade is growing strongly and becoming more important than TransPacific and Asia-Europe shipping,” it added
It suggested that the Philippines should follow the success of other countries in developing strong export clusters centered near hub seaports in a bid to become a major exporting nation.
TAPP is a cooperative agreement with the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. It aims to enhance the growth of key economic reform sectors (agribusiness, creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, mining and tourism) through the conduct of research into constraints to more rapid economic growth, and advocacy of reforms to create a better business environment and investment climate.
TAPP said Cebu has good potential seize many opportunities in boosting its furniture exports, if the Philippines were to pursue effective clustering system.