MANILA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Duterte administration aims to cut the Philippines' trade deficit in a bid to make a favorable balance of trade in the coming years, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Philippine newspaper Inquirer reported on Wednesday that Lopez said the government wants to see trade surplus by the end of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2022.
However, he stressed the need to strengthen structural reforms to ensure a trade surplus.
"With investments coming in you are building capacity year on year until such time you really have the capacity to supply the retirements of the economy and exporters, and send outside to export," Lopez said in an interview with local media.
He added, "Your production capacity should be that high. Activities should be export-oriented. You go beyond raw materials and simple processing, you climb up the value chain for higher value credits."
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that trade deficit from January to September 2017 declined by 3 percent to 18.9 billion U.S. dollars from a deficit of 19.5 billion U.S. dollars in the same period in 2016.
The declining trade deficit was driven by faster exports growth for the first nine months of the year.
Lopez said the administration also eyes for higher export revenue target by the end of the Duterte administration.
Under the Philippine Export Development Plan 2017-2022, the country targets for export revenue of 122 billion U.S. dollars to 131 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.