Home » Customs & Trade, Press Releases » Robust exports, imports push up March PH trade by 23%

The Philippines recorded a 22.7% growth in trade for March this year, following notable progress in exports and imports.

Total trade value in March 2017 grew to US$13.5 billion, with imports and exports rising 24% and 21%, respectively, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported.

“Philippine trade during the first quarter of this year has been robust, growing a solid 18.5 percent. We are really optimistic that we can sustain this momentum in the coming months,” National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Rolando G. Tungpalan said in a statement.

This brings the first quarter growth of imports to 18.6% and exports to 18.3% in 2017.

Exports in March recorded earnings of $5.6 billion, mainly driven by sales of manufactured goods, which accelerated by 16.5%; total agro-based products by 33.6%; and mineral products by 94.2%.

By major markets, exports saw a sharp increase in receipts from Hong Kong (38.9%), China (38.9%), South Korea (7.3%), Taiwan (17.5%), United States (20.4%), and European Union (56.2%).

In the same period, imports payments rose to $7.9 billion, led by purchases for capital goods, raw materials and intermediate goods, mineral fuels and lubricants, and consumer goods.

Compared with its Southeast Asian peers, the Philippines overtook Indonesia’s trade growth of 20.9% in March, Malaysia’s 20.4%, Vietnam’s 20.2%, and Thailand’s 13.8%.

“These figures support our view that the Philippines will be the fastest-growing economy among the ASEAN-5 this year,” Tungpalan said.

This growth is expected to be anchored on recovering external demand and strong domestic consumption and investment activities, he noted.

“We aim to follow through by forging stronger connections with our ASEAN neighbors as merchandise trade with them comprises a substantial share of 21.9% of our country’s total trade in the first quarter,” Tungpalan added.

He also pushed for innovation-led development and the integration of the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises into global value chains in order for the country to fully leverage the region’s growth.

Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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