More Filipino products are reaching beyond local seas as the country showed an increase in total exports by 6.6 percent in October, according to a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
This growth amounts to $5.37 billion, rising from last year’s $5.04 billion.
Including this recent data, the Philippines has been exhibiting improvement in total exports for 11 consecutive months.
Given this, total trade swelled to 10.4 percent for October 2017, a big jump from last month’s 4.6 percent.
However, the trade deficit also increased as total imports outdo export figures, growing by 13.1 percent or $8.21 billion, garnering almost a $1 billion increase from last year’s $7.26 billion.
Currently, the deficit amounts to $2.84 billion, a few points up compared to October 2016’s $2.22 shortfall.
Nevertheless, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General Ernesto M. Pernia said in a statement that they are “encouraged by the performance of Philippine trade in recent months, especially with the consistent positive performance of exports.”.
He also acknowledged “cooperation and trade initiatives” as key players in maintaining this progress.
The NEDA chief is also expectant of positive outcomes from agricultural and semiconductor exports for the coming year. Such products, he added, “continue to comprise a huge portion of Philippine exports”.
Pernia also mentioned initiatives that would significantly support this boost and positive hopes, such as the ASEAN Seamless Trade Facilitation Indicators (ASTFI), which could contribute to lowering costs of trade transactions by 10 percent by the year 2020.
Other initiatives named are the recently signed ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and the ASEAN-HKC Investment Agreement (AHKIA), which will be significant in developing and facilitating trade in the region.