External trade increased 2.2% in July—PSA data
THE country’s total external trade in goods in July 2017 grew 2.2 percent to $12.22 billion from $11.95 billion a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Tuesday.
Data showed exports rose 10.4 percent to $5.28 billion in July from $4.79 billion year-on-year, while imports decreased 3.2 percent from $7.16 billion a year ago to $6.93 billion.
The country’s balance of trade in goods as a result registered a $1.65-billion deficit in July, lower than $2.37 billion in July last year.
Total trade from January to July 2017 grew to $87.8 billion or 10.3 percent, compared with the same period last year
National Economic and Development Authority director general and Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Asean agreements and the Philippines’ integration to the larger Asia-Pacific region would further boost the country’s trade performance.
“Our country’s trade performance is consistent with the Asian trade growth. We are optimistic that higher growth will be achieved for the remaining months of the year,” Pernia said.
Increased exports were observed in Hong Kong (26.2 percent), Thailand (24.2 percent), South Korea (31.8 percent), Malaysia (31.6 percent) and Vietnam (16.4 percent).
Imports from Southeast Asia rose 8.5 percent, led by Indonesia (44.3 percent) and Vietnam (50.8 percent).
Neda noted that member states agreed during the recent Asean Economic Community meetings to prioritize trade in goods and trade facilitation.
“For the region, this means a chance to double intra-Asean trade by 2025. For the Philippines, this means strengthened economic ties with our neighbors and a chance to deepen our partnerships,” Pernia said.
He also noted that the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement would provide opportunities for all economies involved.
RCEP includes the 10 Asean member states and six free-trade agreement partners: China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India.
“This partnership may facilitate more exchange of goods and services, attract investments, create more jobs, and improve the standard of living,” said Pernia.
The Asean accounts for 21.7 percent of the Philippines’ total trade, while the share of RCEP economies to Philippine trade is 60.5 percent.