Despite early anticipation and serious concerns, “Brexit” is unlikely to register any retrospective changes and offer a faint blip on the Philippines’ trade stance, an economist said on Thursday less than a year before the United Kingdom (UK) bids the European Union (EU) farewell.
IHS Markit Chief Economist for Asia Pacific Rajiv Biswas said the Philippines, along with other Asian nations, have lessened their trade dependence on EU markets over the years.
“The importance of the UK as an individual export market for Asian countries has declined significantly over the past 20 years. Fast-growing Asian markets, notably China, have become increasingly important export markets for many Asian nations, while the significance of EU trade partners has declined relatively,” Biswas said.
The Philippines’ growing trade with Asian countries has also prepared the country for any foreseeable negative impact of Brexit.
Early this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that UK is scheduled to depart at 11pm UK time on Friday 29 March, 2019
“Eight of the top 10 trade partners of the Philippines are Asian countries, with the US and Germany being the only two non-Asian countries among the top 10 trade partners of the Philippines,” Biswas added.
For the Philippines alone, the country’s exports to UK account less than one percent of its total export revenues.
Although the UK is not one of the country’s biggest trade partners. It is still anticipated that the country should strive to improve the situation. Having an FTA with UK gives the country an opportunity to build the relationship in a stronger fashion and enhance trade arrangements because of these concessions.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority likewise showed that exports to UK and Northern Ireland in 2017 declined by 5.4 percent to $473.94 million from 501.06 million in 2016. The combined markets were also the top 20th destination for Philippine exports last year.
“The UK is not even in the top 10 global export markets for the Philippines. Germany, Netherlands, and France are the top three EU export markets for the Philippines exports,” Biswas reiterated.