COVID-19 has minimal impact on PH trade, economy — DTI

Aileen Cerrudo

Trade Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez Jr. said the COVID-19 outbreak has affected the Philippines’ supply chain.

The country’s imports from Hubei, China, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, has been impacted by quarantine controls and lockdowns.

Lopez added that the Philippines’ food exports to Hubei have also been affected.

Nevertheless, the outbreak has minimal impact on the Philippine economy as the country’s food exports to the Chinese province is only one percent of the total trading activity of the Philippines with China.

“Given our estimated 6.5%, malakas pa rin ang growth ng Philippine economy (the growth of the Philippine economy remains high). In fact, sa mga trading economies, Pilipinas na lang at Vietnam ang malakas ang growth, (in fact, in trading economies, on the Philippines and Vietnam have [economic] growth)” he said.

The DTI Secretary also said the COVID-19 health scare has made countries realize the value of exploring other sources of vital products.

“In a way doon po pwedeng mag-benefit din ang Pilipinas. Nagkakaroon sila ng reconsideration sa Pilipinas as a site na maging supplier din tayo. (In a way, that’s a way for the Philippines to benefit. They [countries] can reconsider the Philippines as a site to also become a supplier)” Lopez said.

However, he said the situation might change if the virus threat will continue for several more months.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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