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Pinoy exporters cautious in dealing with Chinese

CEBU, Philippines — Although growth prospects are imminent, Filipino exporters are treading lightly in terms of penetrating or forging deals with Chinese traders.

"Most Filipino exporters are very careful in dealing with the Chinese. They have different ways of doing business. We, on the other hand, are used to dealing with western traders," said Export Development Council (EDC) Visayas representative Alan Suarez.

Suarez said penetrating the Asean region as a market is entirely new for most exporters, especially Cebuano exporters.

"We are used to western style of doing business," Suarez reiterated.

Although the world is looking at the ASEAN now as a fertile market, China on the other hand is the star. It is important to make extra effort in understanding, studying the way Chinese do business, Suarez who is the past president of PhilExport-Cebu added.

Moreover, the pending formalization of the intra-ASEAN policies are also one of the hindrances that have to be ironed out, in order for member countries to capitalize on their own market in ASEAN.

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What remains to be a problem, he added is that member countries in the ASEAN are also producing countries, and products are more of the same.

On the other hand, Suarez also expressed optimism that the export sector is on its way up, not as fast and high as before, but at least it is moving upstream.

The growth promise for the Philippine export sector he believes is in its success to enter the gigantic China market.

Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., earlier made an appeal to the government to sustain its efforts on easing regulation and tightening market intelligence gathering in partnership with the private sector to at least cushion the risks towards export growth.

The country's export leader emphasized that there is a need to maximize the exports potential of the country, especially in boosting its penetration in the ASEAN market.

Export stakeholders are developing the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) to raise the industry performance bar to $100 billion.

According to Ortiz-Luis, exporters are stepping up efforts to boost ties with ASEAN neighbors and partners and adopt measures towards product diversification to achieve the $100-billion revenues over the next six years.

With the help of the government to ease regulation and sharpen the market intelligence, export growth is seen to surpass targets.


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