Surge in export upped the country’s trade by 14.2 percent the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.
“Based on a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority, total trade grew to US$12.6 billion in January 2017, with imports growing by 9.1 percent, and exports soaring by 22.5 percent.” NEDA posted on its website.
Nearly all major market experienced growth with the European Union topping it at 82.5 percent. South Korea followed suit at 50.5 percent. Next is China (26.3 percent) and the country’s ASEAN peers (19.2 percent).
Even export to the United States, where the country’s relationship is strained, posted a 16.5 percent growth.
“We are now riding the waves of economic growth in the region. As such, we must continue to push for innovation and infrastructure development to fuel our momentum and drive us to the forefront of the race,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.
The country’s export earnings reached $5.1 billion in January 2016. The earnings were propelled by growth in commodities, led by led by forest products (266.2%), agro-based products (33.7%), and manufactures (23.1%).
Import payments however decelerated to $7.4 billion due to the decrease in capital goods demand.
“We must support our fast-growing economy by strengthening our production capability and linkages, particularly in agriculture and manufacturing, to help us meet both internal and external demands,” Pernia said.
Likewise, all Asian economies posted positive trade figures, with the Philippines posting the third highest year-on-year growth which is preceded by Indonesia (21.1%) and Singapore (19.9%), and followed by Malaysia (12.0%) and China (11.4%).
“This is a signal that our efforts in forging better relations with our Asian neighbors and the EU are finally paying off,” Pernia said.
However, global growth and trade risks remain with US protectionist policies that may hamper global recovery, as counter-measures will be imposed by its trading partners.
“Aside from increasing our attractiveness and competitiveness through economic reforms, we need to diversify our market and take advantage of our existing multi-lateral and bilateral trade agreements to expand opportunities for our producers,” he added.