Unctad identifies 45,000 new products with export potential

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EXPORTERS wishing to gain insight into potential new products with increased export opportunities and the markets offering growing trade opportunities can refer to a newly published United Nations Catalogue.

First published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the 2022 Diversification Opportunity Catalog identifies over 45,000 new products with export potential that can help countries like the Philippines diversify their economic activities.

In the case of the Philippines, the country currently has nearly 10,560 products with the potential to create 2,300 new products to diversify, according to the report. Of these new products, approximately 1,890, or 82 percent, represent potentially more complex new products. More complex products have an estimated 57 percent export opportunity and 32 percent import replacement opportunity.

Overall, the organic chemistry sector has the greatest potential for the Philippines, accounting for 15 percent of the export opportunities. Iron and steel follow; Vehicles; machinery and mechanical equipment; inorganic chemicals, precious metal compounds, isotopes; Meat and edible meat offal; iron or steel; plastics; Nickel; and electrical and electronic equipment.

China and the US top the list of target markets for potential new products, followed by Germany, France, the UK, Italy and the Netherlands. By region, Asia is the leading destination, followed by Europe and North America.

In the agribusiness alone, meat and edible offal represent the biggest opportunity for local exporters, accounting for a whopping 49 percent of export potential. It is followed by fish, crustaceans, mollusks, aquatic invertebrates; Oil seeds, oleaginous fruits, cereals, seeds, fruits; Grain; dairy products, eggs, honey, edible animal products; and mill products, malt, starch, inulin, wheat gluten.

The largest export markets for new agribusiness products are China, Germany, the US, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands and France. In terms of regional markets, Asia has the most opportunities, followed by Western Europe, Northern Europe and North America.

The Philippine fact sheet also includes a comprehensive list of specific new products with increased export opportunities and identifies the top three growth markets for each product.

Diversification into meat and edible slaughterhouse waste has the greatest potential for yield. For example, frozen pork cuts list China, Australia and Chile as the top three growth markets and have an export opportunity of approximately US$3.594 million.

Use technology, innovation

Released at the end of September, the new report aims to help countries leverage technology and innovation for faster, more inclusive and sustainable economic growth. It informs governments, the private sector and other stakeholders that make up national innovation systems about potential product areas where technology can be used to diversify economies for structural change.

Research shows that structural change – the process by which a sustained period of rising incomes and living standards coincides with changes in the distribution of economic activity – increases economic growth and competitiveness and shifts jobs from low-value-added to high-value-added products.

In other words, a country must be able to manufacture not only new products, but also those that are more sophisticated, using a more skilled workforce and more advanced technological applications, Unctad said.

This requires the diversification of economic activity towards more complex products. And development policies should be designed to facilitate this process.

“The ability to identify new industries with potential could provide significant support for innovation and industrial policy,” said Shamika Sirimanne, director of Unctad’s technology and logistics division.

“This handy catalog identifies such industries based on a country’s production structure and level of development, as well as the demand for those products in the world market,” added Sirimanne.

The catalog contains information on four main areas:

* Basic statistics on diversification;

* potential new sectors to diversify, taking into account all the products and the markets that offer growing export opportunities;

* Potential new sectors for diversification considering agribusiness products; and

* The markets that offer growing export opportunities.

In addition to the more than 2,700 pages of dialogue, Unctad also offers useful country-specific fact sheets. (KOC WITH PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES)

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