Local garment exporters expect orders from Chinese buyers reaching as much as US$ 250 million that will generate up to 3,000 jobs this year, as China turns to the Philippines due to its competitive labour rates and initiatives to facilitate exports. Robert Young, president of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP), said. "This is a price game because it will be like who has the best price, best delivery, best quality," he said, noting regional rivals have increased their minimum wages, resulting in higher manufacturing costs.
Manila will be a favoured sourcing destination due to industrial peace and stable labour rates, he opined.
Young said his group members have already secured US$ 150 million worth of purchase orders from their principals in China, and is looking to add US$ 100 million by December. Young expects garments and hard goods exports reaching about US$ 1 billion this year, bolstered by Chinese purchases of Philippine garments. He particularly cited the signing of Ease of Doing Business law which has enticed more foreign buyers to place their orders in the Philippines. "The processing of export licenses, they are all faster. The importation of raw materials will be more efficient now, we cut this working time maybe 50%. We will be saving maybe 5% of the logistics cost, plus the fact that we can have faster delivery time so now we can cope with the international requirement of fast delivery," he added.