The Philippines’ merchandise exports surged by 15.7% in February 2024, recording USD 5.9 billion compared to USD 5.1 billion over a year earlier, based on preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).  This significant growth is a promising indicator for the Philippine economy, driven largely by the robust upturn in the semiconductor industry.

The positive momentum continued into the first two months of 2024, with total merchandise exports rising by 12.3 % to USD 11.8 billion, up from USD 10.5 billion in the same period last year. Electronic products, which constitute nearly 63% of the country’s exports, expanded by 26.8% to USD 3.4 billion in February 2024. This growth was primarily driven by the 31.9% increase in semiconductor exports, which reached USD 2.65 billion, marking the highest value of semiconductor exports recorded in February over the past decade.

Similarly, global semiconductor sales also saw a significant 16.3% increase in February 2024, totaling USD 46.2 billion. The Semiconductor Industry Association highlighted this as the largest year-on-year growth since May 2022, projecting a continued market growth throughout the year.

Among the Philippines’ top export markets, the United States, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, the Netherlands, and Taiwan recorded double-digit increases in imports from the Philippines. Hong Kong notably recorded the largest increase, with imports growing by 45.6% year-on-year and 38.8% year-to-date. In contrast, Singapore’s witnessed a significant decline in imports from the Philippines for both year-on-year and year-to-date periods.

“The robust export performance in February, following the year-on-year increase of 9.1% in the previous month, marks a promising start to the year for the Philippine export sector. The electronics sector is evidently recovering, even catching up with the export figures from two years ago,” said DTI Secretary Fred Pascual.

“We are hopeful that this growth momentum will be sustained in the coming months. We will continue to collaborate closely with the private sectors, government agencies, and development partners to improve the Philippines’ export environment and build on this export growth,”  the trade chief added.

Origin Management System for the Promotion of FTAs in the Philippines Project

Earlier this month, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) led a delegation to South Korea to benchmark and learn from Korea’s support programs and initiatives as part of the Origin Management System for the Promotion of FTAs in the Philippines Project, funded by the Korean government. This project aims to increase the utilization of Philippine manufacturers and traders to utilize technology and digital services, thereby   significantly reducing the time and costs associated with complying with rules of origin requirements of FTAs and Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSPs).

Key features of the project include the development of an Origin Management System, where exporters can encode relevant information in a platform that will determine if their export products qualify under the respective origin requirements of FTAs and GSPs. Another feature is an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled Harmonized System (HS)  classification tool that will enable exporters to determine the appropriate HS codes for their products.

“We see the immense potential in this project to boost the development and growth of Philippine exports by simplifying the exporting process and leveraging FTAs/GSP,” stated DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo.  “We are thankful for the support that the Korean government has extended to the Philippines to support our Philippine exporters, ahead of the entry into force of the Philippines-Korea FTA” Undersecretary Rodolfo added.

Aligned with key strategies in the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2023-2028, this project strengthens the institutions that support export development.

Other members of the delegation to South Korea include the Bureau of Customs, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., and the Export Development Council Secretariat.

Juan for the World (JFTW) Program

The DTI, through the Export Marketing Bureau, continues to support Philippine micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) exporters in their efforts to strengthen their position in current markets and diversify these export markets into new ones. In partnership with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and PHILEXPORT, the DTI offers the Juan for the World (JFTW) Program, a global trademark incentive initiative. This program helps Philippine MSME exporters build a strong brand identity and thrive in today’s highly competitive market by assisting them in protecting their trademarks under the Madrid Protocol, the international filing system for trademarks.

The program’s pilot implementation, launched in the second half of 2023 and extended into 2024, entails strong collaboration between private and public sector partners. It provided financial assistance to 10 MSME exporters to support their Madrid Protocol international applications.  In line with the PEDP 2023-2028, this initiative aims to increase the Philippines’ mindshare in the global market by supporting the registration and protection of Philippine brands internationally.

Usapang Exports

To further empower Philippine businesses, the DTI will conduct 24 nationwide “Usapang Exports” or Export Talks this year. These information sessions will cover market opportunities, trends, regulations, and other export-related topics. The goal of this program is to enable Philippine businesses to make more informed decisions about exporting. For inquiries regarding exports, please send an email to DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) at, or you may visit ♦

Date of release: 17 April 2024