TAPP cites Cebu’s po­ten­tial to seize ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Freeman - - BUSINESS - Ehda M. Da­gooc FILE PHOTO

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.

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