Philippines (the) flag Philippines (the): Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of the Philippines

Foreign Trade in Figures

Foreign trade represented 58.2% of the country's GDP in 2020, according to the World Bank. Main exports included electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies (31.9%), automatic data processing machines and units (5.2%), machine parts and accessories (3.6%), wires and cables (3.3%), and printing machinery (2.9%); while imports are focused on electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies (14.6%), petroleum oils (4.9%), electrical apparatus for line telephony (3.6%), machinery parts and accessories (2.4%), and motor vehicles (2.1%). According to IMF Foreign Trade Forecasts, the volume of exports of goods and services increased by 5.3% in 2021 and is expected to increase by 17.1% in 2022, while the volume of imports of goods and services increased by 15.9% in 2021 and is expected to increase by 23.1% in 2022.

Main export destinations include Japan, the U.S., China, Hong Kong, and Singapore; while main imports arrive from China, Japan, the U.S., South Korea, and Indonesia. The main risk factor to foreign trade in the Philippines and countries in the region is the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which slows exchanges in the world. The Philippines has recently lifted quantitative restrictions on imports of all food products, including rice. However, Tariff-Rate Quotas still remain on a number of sensitive products such as corn, poultry meat, pork, sugar, and coffee. The country is part of a number of trade agreements, including the Asia Free Trade Agreement, the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement; and the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area.

Traditionally, the country's trade balance has been in deficit due to high imports of raw materials and intermediate goods. The 2020 trade balance (including services) closed at USD - 18,7 million, while the trade deficit without services was higher, at USD - 31.8 million. Deficit increases are expected due to a slower rise of exports and the need for imported infrastructure goods to fulfil the ambitious 2017-2022 Development Plan. Membership to ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has also played a key role in the Philippines' expanding commerce overseas. According to WTO data, in 2020, the Philippines exported USD 36.7 million worth of goods and imported USD 90.6 million worth of goods. As with regards to services, the country's exports value exceeded the imports value by reaching USD 31.3 million and USD 17.7 million, respectively.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 86,290101,901119,329117,37490,654
Exports of Goods (million USD) 56,31368,71369,30770,92763,767
Imports of Services (million USD) 24,23325,84526,27127,68617,746
Exports of Services (million USD) 31,35734,81338,37841,24531,391

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 61.868.272.268.858.2
Trade Balance (million USD) -35,549-40,215-50,972-49,312-31,839
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -28,506-31,522-39,364-36,272-18,759
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 18.815.114.62.3-21.6
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 9.217.411.82.6-16.3
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 35.138.641.940.533.0
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 26.729.630.228.425.2

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 7.317.210.413.011.7
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 16.023.110.513.110.7

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
The Philippines is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ICC, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Colombo Plan, G-24, G-77, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates the Philippines click here. International organisation membership of the Philippines is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The Philippines is a member of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) signed on 15 November 2020. The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by the Philippines can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Japan 15.5%
United States 15.2%
China 15.1%
Hong Kong SAR, China 14.2%
Singapore 5.9%
See More Countries 34.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
China 23.1%
Japan 9.6%
United States 7.8%
South Korea 7.7%
Indonesia 6.5%
See More Countries 45.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

63.9 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Electronic integrated circuits and microassembliesElectronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 31.9%
Automatic data processing machines and units...Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 5.2%
Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying...Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of heading 8469 to 8472, n.e.s. 3.6%
Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable...Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable incl. coaxial cable and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made-up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors 3.3%
Printing machinery used for printing by means of...Printing machinery used for printing by means of the printing type, blocks, plates, cylinders and other printing components of heading 8442 and ink-jet printing machines (excl. hectograph or stencil duplicating machines, addressing machines and other office printing machines of heading 8469 to 8472); machines for uses ancillary to printing, for the feeding, carriage or further processing of sheets or webs of paper; parts thereof 2.9%
See More Products 53.1%
90.7 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Electronic integrated circuits and microassembliesElectronic integrated circuits and microassemblies 14.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.9%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 3.6%
Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying...Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of heading 8469 to 8472, n.e.s. 2.4%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.1%
See More Products 72.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: May 2022

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