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Filipino exporters need to tap niche markets

A number of footwear exporters based in the Philippines are now concentrating on producing speciality products in order to boost sales, according to the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Philexport.

According to George Barcelon, Philexport trustee for the footwear, leather and travel goods sector, the level of foreign orders has been flat for a number of years due to the state of the European and US economies. However, Mr Barcelon has highlighted that sales into niche overseas markets – such as those for infants’ and orthopaedic shoes – are doing well.

“For those kinds of orders, the volume is not big,” remarked Mr Barcelon. “We are talking about more of... a boutique type of market.” He noted that due to weak demand from their main overseas markets, Filipino shoemakers have also been increasingly focusing on the domestic market, even though there is growing competition from imported Cambodian, Chinese, Indonesian and Vietnamese footwear.

Photograph above shows the production of orthopaedic shoes in the Philippines.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 3 of the November 2013 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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