MAKATI – Amidst 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% year-on-year (yoy) to USD 25.0 B in the 3rd quarter (Q3) of 2019. This export growth was even an improvement compared to its second quarter (Q2) 2019 yoy rate of 4.3%.

“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.

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

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

The Q3 export growth performance was strengthened by an 8.6% yoy increase in services exports, which totaled USD 11.1 B for the quarter. It was also backed by the 2.4% yoy uptick in the goods exports valued at USD 13.9 B.

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 (IT-BPM) 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% yoy to USD 70.4 B on a cumulative basis spanning January to September 2019. Services exports rose by 7.7% yoy to USD 30.6 B driven by travel services as well as technical, trade-related, and other business services. Meanwhile, goods exports increased by 0.7% yoy to USD 39.8 B primarily because of fruits and vegetables.♦

Date of Release: 20 December 2019