Philippines Top Trading Partners

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The Philippines is a densely populated island populated by 104.3 million residents located in south-east Asia. The country’s official name is the Republic of the Philippines.

The Philippines shipped US$63.2 billion worth of products around the globe in 2017. That figure represents roughly 0.4% of overall global exports estimated at $15.952 trillion for the prior year 2016.

About two-thirds (66.4%) of Filipino exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 16.3% were sold to North American importers. The Philippines shipped another 15.4% worth of goods to European clients.

Philippines Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing Philippines top 15 trading partners, countries that imported the most Filipino shipments by dollar value during 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Filipino exports.

  1. Japan: US$10.2 billion (16.2% of total Filipino exports)
  2. United States: $9.2 billion (14.6%)
  3. Hong Kong: $8.6 billion (13.7%)
  4. China: $7 billion (11.1%)
  5. Singapore: $3.9 billion (6.1%)
  6. Thailand: $2.6 billion (4.2%)
  7. Germany: $2.6 billion (4.1%)
  8. South Korea: $2.5 billion (4%)
  9. Netherlands: $2.5 billion (3.9%)
  10. Taiwan: $2.3 billion (3.6%)
  11. Malaysia: $1.6 billion (2.5%)
  12. Vietnam: $867.2 million (1.4%)
  13. France: $791.5 million (1.3%)
  14. Indonesia: $702.1 million (1.1%)
  15. Malta: $685.6 million (1.1%)

Japan was the only top importer that decreased its purchases from the Philippines from 2016 to 2017, down in value by -12.4%. Among the other 14 countries, gains ranged from a minimum of 4.5% for Singapore up to 308.4% for Malta.

Deficits

Overall, the Philippines incurred a -$35.3 billion trade deficit in 2017 up 19.1% from the -$29.6 billion in red ink one year earlier.

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit. It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$10.8 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2017)
  2. Indonesia: -$6 billion
  3. South Korea: -$5.9 billion
  4. Thailand: -$4.3 billion
  5. Taiwan: -$3 billion
  6. Malaysia: -$2.2 billion
  7. Singapore: -$1.9 billion
  8. Vietnam: -$1.8 billion
  9. Australia: -$1.4 billion
  10. Saudi Arabia: -$1.2 billion

Among Philippines’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Filipino deficits with Australia (up 191.3%), South Korea (up 66.7%) and Indonesia (up 46%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for the Philippines to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

The Philippines incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. Hong Kong: US$5.9 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2017)
  2. Netherlands: $1.8 billion
  3. United States: $1.3 billion
  4. Malta: $679.6 million
  5. Germany: $572.7 million
  6. Portugal: $489.8 million
  7. Mexico: $466.5 million
  8. Hungary: $138.6 million
  9. Poland: $93.4 million
  10. Cyprus: $62.9 million

Among Filipino trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Filipino surpluses with Cyprus (up 15,122%), Portugal (up 6,142%) and Malta (up 342.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for the Philippines to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Filipino Trading Partners

Ten Filipino corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major companies headquartered in the Philippines that Forbes included:

  • Aboitiz Equity Ventures (industrial conglomerates)
  • Alliance Global Group (industrial conglomerates)
  • Ayala (industrial conglomerates)
  • PLDT (telecommunications services)
  • San Miguel (industrial conglomerates)

According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following companies are also examples of Filipino export companies:

  • Acbel Polytech Philippines (electric static converters, primary batteries)
  • Aruze G A Philippines Branch (machine tools, printers, copiers, operated games)
  • Calfurn Mfg Philippines (bamboo/wood furniture, kitchenware, tableware)
  • Pacific Paint Boysen Philippines (polymers, oils)
  • Yuenthai Philippines (shirts, blouses)


 

See also Highest Value Filipino Import Products and Philippines Top 10 Imports

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 9, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 9, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 9, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 9, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of the Philippines. Accessed on March 9, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 11, 2016

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 11, 2016