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Philippine total trade up 9.9 percent in 2017

Staff Writer | February 9, 2018
The Philippine total trade grew 9.9 percent in 2017, as imports and exports growth rates ran higher than government estimates, the government said on Friday.
Philippine total trade up
Asia   The National Economic and Development Authority:
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said that imports and exports posted 10.2 percent and 9.5 percent growth rates, respectively, in 2017, exceeding the government's growth estimates of 9.0 percent for imports and 8.0 percent for exports.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country's total trade grew by 8.6 percent in December 2017, pushing full-year trade growth to 9.9 percent. "This is better than the 5.8 percent full-year trade growth recorded in 2016," the PSA said.

The PSA said imports in December 2017 posted a hefty growth of 17.6 percent as all commodity groups registered increases while exports declined by 4.9 percent, its only negative growth for 2017 and first decline since November 2016.

The NEDA stressed the need for the government to continue to implement strategies that would heighten demand for Philippine-made products to sustain merchandise trade growth.

"We need to effectively respond to market trends and consumer preferences worldwide to drive more demand for Philippine-made products," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

He said this can be done by gathering timely and relevant information on emerging demands in potential markets through the help of diplomatic posts and trade attaches.

Moreover, he said intensified market research and tighter linkages with businesses, malls and shopping centers abroad would help increase the visibility of Philippine export products.