by Magnolia M. Uy / Commercial Attaché Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the World Trade Organization, Philippine Trade and Investment Center Geneva

Published in Business Mirror

22 August 2017

GENEVA, Switzerland—A new tool called Export Potential Map, which can be accessed for free via, will help Pinoy micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) identify what goods and services to export and where to export.

The Export Potential Map is an innovative tool that enables users to make better export decisions based on rigorous economic analysis. It allows exporters, especially MSMEs in developing countries, to target new markets based on information on trade costs and expected demand. This tool is, likewise, useful for policy-makers and trade-promotion organizations in improving the policy environment and support programs for existing and prospective exporters.

Since figuring out a country’s export potential—and particularly, which goods and markets would best contribute to sustained economic development—is a lot more complicated than it may seem, the newly developed tool by the International Trade Centre (ITC) can help exporters in carrying out export evaluations of a country, such as potential sectors and prospective markets. The Export Potential Map extracts data from a range of sources, including import and export data, tariffs, GDP and geographic data.

Using the Export Potential Map, the results show the total untapped export potential for the Philippines is equivalent to $44.7 billion. The products with the highest untapped export potential from the Philippines to the world are smart cards, electronic integrated circuits and other electrical devices. While the largest absolute difference between potential and actual exports in value terms, leaving room to realize additional exports for the said products is worth $17.5 billion. In terms of markets, the countries with the greatest potential for said products are China, Hong Kong and Singapore. China provides the biggest opportunity with potential export worth $7.8 billion.

Using the tool, one can also drill down up to six-digit product level of the harmonized system. For example, the markets with the greatest potential for the Philippine exports of HS 080111 desiccated coconuts are the US, the Netherlands and Germany. It shows Germany offers the most lucrative trade opportunity equivalent to $23.2 million.

The Export Potential Map covers 222 countries and territories and 4,064 products. The web tool has a user-friendly interface and innovative visualizations that can be easily downloaded, shared on social media and embedded into reports or web sites.

The ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the UN whose mandate is to assist MSMEs in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in the global market through various technical assistance and capacity building activities, including developing online tools. For more information, visit