Philippine merchandise exports to nine other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had a turnaround this year after a drop in export revenues last year.
Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the country’s export to ASEAN increased by 11.17 percent in January to September 2017 to USD7.16 billion from USD6.41 billion in the same period last year.
This was a turnaround from the negative exports growth of 4.8 percent last year compared to revenues in 2015.
In 2016, top export products of the country to ASEAN included electronic products, manufactured goods, chemicals, metal components, and machinery and transport equipment.
On the other hand, Philippine imports from ASEAN member states reached USD17.65 billion in the first eight months of 2017 from USD16.2 billion worth of imports in the same period of the previous year.
This was an improvement of 8.9 percent year-to-date.
This year’s growth of country’s inward shipment from ASEAN has eased from 19.88 percent growth on import receipt last year.
Top imported goods of the country from ASEAN in 2016 were electronic products, transport equipment, mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, food and live animals, and industrial machinery and equipment.
Total trade of the Philippines to ASEAN rose 9.7 percent to USD24.81 billion in the first seven months of 2017 from USD22.61 billion in the same period in 2016.
Early this week, Governor for the Philippines at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and former Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the elimination of tariff among ASEAN countries had significant impact on improving trade in the region.
ASEAN began cutting tariff rates in 2010.
To date, more than 99 percent of tariff lines in the region have zero import duties.
Meanwhile, three preparatory meetings in the Senior Officials level are being held in Clark before meetings of ASEAN Economic Ministers in Manila officially open on Sunday.