ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippine trade deficit widens to $3.51B in August
The Philippine trade deficit expanded further to $3.51 billion in August as the country continued to import more during the period, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Wednesday.
Data released by the PSA showed the balance of trade in goods widened to a $3.51-billion deficit in August from $2.74 billion a year earlier.
Total exports grew by 3.1 percent to $6.15 billion, while imports rose by 11 percent to $9.68 billion from $8.72 billion.
The government targets an export growth of 10 percent for the full year 2018, and 11 percent for imports.
To sustain the trade growth, targeted interventions must be put in place, said Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon, who is also the officer-in-charge of the National Economic and Development Authority.
Such interventions must mitigate vulnerabilities, increase production capacities, and level up coping strategies related to global market trends and shocks, she said.
The passage of the Ease of Doing Business law has the potential to entice more companies to come in and boost exports. Edillon noted.
“The immediate implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Act will also be vital in attracting competitive firms to enter the country’s exporting industry. The approval of the 11th Foreign Investment Negative List should further ease restriction on foreign investments and prop-up domestic economic activity,” she said.
Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last May, the law is envisioned to streamline simple business transactions to three days, complex transactions to seven days, and highly technical transactions to 20 days.
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