A glimpse on how much trade and commerce is obtained by the Philippines among the member countries of the ASEAN was released recently by the national statistical coordination board (NCSB).
The report highlighted the grim fact “for every 100 dolars that we (PH) export to ASEAN, we (Philippines) import back 145 dollars”.
The study on trade of goods between the Philippines and ASEAN countries cover the period January 2010 up to November 2011. A trade deficit was obtained with Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Myanmar, and a surplus on Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia and Laos.
Bottomline, the total exports amounted to a measly $19,444,251,837 while the imports grossed at $28,124,613,322 or a trade deficit of $8,680,361,485.
Singapore is the biggest ASEAN-member trading partner of the Philippines with export reaching $11,283,169,052 and an import of $9,703,656,372. A trade surplus for RP.
The country’s import from Thailand totaled $7,156,573,278 versus an export of only $3,507,976,171 for a trade deficit of $3,648,597,107.
Vietnam imported goods amounting to $1,183,715,794 but exported more with $2,409,544,231. A trade deficit for the Philippines of $1,225,828,437.
From Malaysia, the export of $2,403,919,580 and goods importation of $4,448,085,022 resulted in an unfavorable trade deficit of $2,044,165,442 for PH.
Nearby Indonesia exported $4,349,0101,183 yet imported only $1,011,891,766 for a result surplus of $3,337,118,417 in their favor.
Trade with Myanmar resulted in a deficit of $21,805,607 as imports of $47,209,435 was almost double than the export of $25,403,828.
Is there a fast lane for the Philippines to convert the large trade deficit with Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam into a surplus?
Some of these Asean countries are enjoying robust economies leaving behind the Philippines which many decades ago used to lead the pack.
The US is the Philippines’ second largest export market so far for year 2011 after China and Hong Kong. Export sales to the US as of July accounted for 16.32% or $4.606 billion of the $28.223-billion total.