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 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 4.04.56.16.16.2
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 14.95.78.88.88.1

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)
2021
United States 15.9%
China 15.5%
Japan 14.4%
Hong Kong SAR, China 13.3%
Singapore 5.6%
See More Countries 35.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
China 22.7%
Japan 9.5%
South Korea 7.7%
Indonesia 7.3%
United States 6.7%
See More Countries 46.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

74.6 bn USD of products exported in 2021
Electronic integrated circuits; parts thereofElectronic integrated circuits; parts thereof 32.3%
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. 5.0%
Insulated "incl. enamelled or anodised" wire,...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 3.6%
Printing machinery used for printing by means of...Printing machinery used for printing by means of plates, cylinders and other printing components of heading 8442 (excl. hectograph or stencil duplicating machines, addressing machines and other office printing machines of heading 8469 to 8472); other printers, copying machines and facsimile machines, whether or not combined; parts thereof 3.4%
Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought ...Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought (excl. copper alloys of heading 7405) 3.0%
See More Products 52.7%
124.4 bn USD of products imported in 2021
Electronic integrated circuits; parts thereofElectronic integrated circuits; parts thereof 12.4%
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 7.5%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 2.7%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 2.3%
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. 2.1%
See More Products 73.0%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. 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, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2022