PH exports grow 5.1% in Q3 2019

AMID the backdrop of global uncertainty stemming from the US-China trade war, Philippine exports of goods and services remained resilient, as it expanded by 5.1 percent year-on-year (yoy) to US$ 25 billion in the third quarter of 2019.

This export growth was an improvement compared to its second quarter yoy rate of 4.3 percent.

“President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive of being a friend to all nations allowed the Philippines to grow our exports despite the ongoing US-China trade war, which may have caused the decline in exports of other countries,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Lopez said the Philippines is pushing for the conclusion of free trade agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Philippine-Korea Free Trade Agreement in 2020 to expand market access for manufactured goods as well as agri-based products.

He also said that the Philippines is also working on a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates and is exploring new export markets in consumer-rich Africa. The trade chief advised that the export marketing should be in tandem with increasing the supply to meet the demand of foreign markets.

The third quarter export growth performance was strengthened by an 8.6 percent yoy increase in services exports, which totaled $11.1 billion for the quarter. It was also backed by the 2.4 percent yoy uptick in the goods exports valued at $13.9 billion.

Growth in services exports was boosted by a double-digit increase in exports of travel services due to bigger international tourist arrivals. Aside from travel services, information technology and business process management also contributed to the services exports’ good showing.

On the other hand, exports of electronics products, bananas and forestry and mineral products contributed to the moderate increase in the exports of goods.

Goods and services’ exports climbed 3.7 percent yoy to $70.4 billion from January to September 2019.

Services exports rose by 7.7 percent yoy to $30.6 billion driven by travel services as well as technical, trade-related and other business services.

Meanwhile, goods exports increased by 0.7 percent yoy to $39.8 billion primarily because of fruits and vegetables. (PR)