Philippine formula vs global recession: Better agriculture, manufacturing and ties with trade partners

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - To survive global economic recession unscathed, Philippines needs to build relations with key trading partners and competitiveness in agriculture and manufacturing.

The Philippines needs to do at least two things to survive global economic recession unscathed, according to the country’s top economist—build relations with key trading partners and competitiveness in agriculture and manufacturing.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia made this assessment on Tuesday (Sept 10) after the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country’s total trade declined by 1.3 percent in July 2019 from July 2018.

Merchandise exports grew by 3.5 percent — the fourth consecutive month of positive growth — on the back of higher revenues from agro-based products, forest products, and manufactures to include electronic products. The Philippines registered the third highest exports growth among selected Asian economies, following Thailand and Vietnam.

“Philippine exports remained resilient,” said Pernia. He said it withstood trade war between the world’s largest economies—US and China—a faltering European economy and uncertainty over Brexit.

Merchandise imports declined by 4.2 percent in July 2019 due to lower payments for raw materials & intermediate goods as well as mineral fuels, lubricant and related materials.

Pernia said the impact of the US-China trade war is beginning to be felt as global manufacturing is slowing down.

“The country’s manufacturing sector is expected to sustain its growth despite the overall decline in global manufacturing,” Pernia said.

“We are optimistic as we see a reduction of global oil prices, the recent cuts in electricity rates, and the lower import costs due to the appreciation of the peso,” he said.

The Philippines, he said, may yet benefit from the US-China trade war as the country could become an alternative production hub for companies feeling the heat of increased tarriffs on goods made in China.

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