MANILA – The European Union Delegation released its new EU-Philippines fact file, which describes and analyses economic trends in EU-Philippines relations with updated statistics of 2014.
In 2014, EU – Philippines trade in goods increased to historic highs by 16% to €12.5 billion, while trade in services increased even stronger, by 17%, to €3.1 billion. This trade resulted in a surplus of €1.1 billion in goods for the EU and a surplus in services’ trade of more than €300 million for the Philippines. This impressive growth puts the EU at par with the US as the Philippines’ third trading partner, after Japan and China.
The EU Delegation just released its 2015 Trade and Investment Fact File, a booklet that will serve as a useful source of information for businesses and other stakeholders to strengthen further the already strong relationship between the EU and the rest of the world.
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux stated “The commercial and political ties between the European Union (EU) and the Philippines have existed for centuries and have grown into today’s substantial relationship with trade in goods and services at historical highs of €12.5 billion and €3.1 billion respectively.”
EU Trade Commissioner Malmström commented: ” Our relationship is an essential one: The European Union is the world’s largest economy and the rise of Asia is the most important economic and political story of our time. And the Philippines is playing its part in it. The Philippines is providing very positive signals in terms of performance on economic reforms, growth and improved business climate and I look forward to a deeper engagement.”
With the recent granting of further preferences under GSP+ – the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance to the Philippines and parties agreeing to undertake preparatory work to explore the possibility to further deepen EU-Philippines trade relations through a bilateral free-trade agreement, a lot more is to be expected in the years to come.
EU’s exports of goods to the Philippines continued its strong growth which started in 2011 (total export growth of 70% since) and made the EU in 2014 the second source of imports (after China) of the Philippines. The impressive trade flows are partly thanks to a strong growth of the Philippines’ economy (6.1% in 2014, 6.7% projected for 2015) is supported by sound macro-economic policies as evidenced by ratings and indices upgrades, population and middle class growth, economic reforms (liberalising financial and other sectors) and government spending on infrastructure. The stronger economic recovery in the EU (1.4% growth) likewise meant an increased demand for products from the Philippines as well as a new surge of reported Foreign Direct Investment to the Philippines (over €800 million, or 26% of total inflows into the Philippines in 2014).
In 2014, EU key exports to the Philippines included electronics, chemical products, industrial equipment, transport equipment, metal products, paper products, cereals, meat, dairy, and animal feeds, while the Philippines main exports to the EU included electronics, coconut oil, transport equipment, clothing and textiles, fishery products, metal products, industrial equipment, and fruit products. Trade in services is dominated by transport (sea and air) as well as business processing outsourcing and finance.
In terms of foreign direct investments, the EU was again the largest investment partner of the Philippines in 2014, providing over 26% of overall flows into the country and adding to the 450,000 jobs already provided by current investors.
In 2014, the EU became the 4th largest source of tourists to the Philippines, overtaking China with a record number of 400,000 tourists. In 2014, the European Union also became the fourth largest host of land-based migrant Filipinos and the largest employer of Filipino seafarers. Filipino migrants living and working in the EU as well as Filipino seafarers manning European ships sent $3.35 billion back to the Philippines in 2014, making the EU the second largest source of remittances to the Philippines. (Eagle News Service/European Union Delegation to the Philippines)