ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PHL trade gap widens to $2.41B in August
The country's balance of trade in goods posted a wider deficit in August as imports continued to outpace exports, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Tuesday.
PSA data showed the trade deficit amounted to $2.41 billion in August from $2.13 billion a year earlier.
Imports reached $7.92 billion, up 10.5 percent from $7.17 billion.
Exports totaled $5.51 billion, up 9.3 percent from $5.04 billion—its ninth consecutive month of positive growth.
The total external trade amounted to $13.42 billion, up 10 percent from $12.20 billion.
National Economic and Development Authority officer-in-charge Rolando Tungpalan said the growth in total trade was mainly due to shipments to ASEAN member countries, which grew by 13.9 percent. Shipments to European Union went up by 31.3 percent.
“To help enhance this trade productivity, it is important to follow through with reforms that will develop the country’s potential in digital trade and e-commerce,” Tungpalan said in a separate statement.
Tungapalan cited the $200-million World Bank-financed Philippine Customs and Trade Facilitation Project for the Bureau of Customs as among the reforms needed to improve trade facilitation.
"This can boost BOC’s efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and revenue collection through an updating of systems, procedures, and operational activities related to processing and clearance of imported and exported goods," he said. — Ted Cordero/VDS, GMA News
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