The Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) says the Philippines International Buyers Association (FOBAP) has announced that orders previously canceled due to the pandemic are steadily returning, offering hope this year of a turnaround in clothing and hard goods exports of between 10 and 15 percent. New orders worth $280 million were issued by local factories. The 2021 future for distressed mid to high fashion products is dark and hazy, told by Robert Young, FOBAP president and trustee of Philexport for the garment, yarn and cloth sector from sewing floor to store shelf. A re-costing/re-leveling of the price is also a must. Just the fundamentals and staples of quick fashion, such as undergarments, are now alive.
Young noted that fresh reported export orders would be on the sewing floor before the first quarter for the country’s soft goods containing mainly clothes worth $200 million. Wacoal, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, JCPenny, among others, were among the purchasers. Nearly 70% of orders originate from the US, with the remainder coming from the European Union, Canada, Australia, and others. Despite the pandemic, Young is positive about export growth, as the country’s factories expect to book orders that, due to their full production, are not fulfilled by other Asian neighbors.
Much of these orders come from foreign factories in China that have been transferred (moved out). The Philippines would also have added volume for more complex jackets/sportswear products that are not other countries’ development priorities. In particular, to improve EU exports, Young has urged the Government to ask the EU to grant imports of fabrics/textiles in cloth manufacturing, which will require the Extensive Special Preference Plus Scheme (GSP+) to allow zero trading block duty.