Philippines' exports to grow by over 45% with ASEAN integration

The National Economic Development Authority of the Philippines calculates the country's export sector will grow by almost half within an integrated ASEAN economy. NEDA Assistant Director-General Ruperto Majuca said that, based on their computations, an integrated ASEAN economy will result in a 45.5% growth of Philippine exports.

“If (trade barriers are) successfully eliminated, all traded goods and services should theoretically have one price across countries, after adjusting for transport and other transaction costs. It would be as if a community of nations, such as the ASEAN Economic Community, is functioning as one country," he said as quoted by PIA.

“The trade creation effect will create a single market, which will have an impact on trade services. In fact studies claim that the utilities and construction sector will expand by 4.3%, and the trade and transport sector will expand by 7.3%," he said.

Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary, Adrian Cristobal Jr, observed that trade among ASEAN countries grew by 7% in 2010. He explained that  a majority of goods traded within ASEAN are already tariff-free, “so you really have a free flow of goods,” he said. “This benefits consumers and manufacturers as they are able to source their raw materials from the country at a lower price.”

However, Cristobal added, "we still have to face challenges, as every country has a scorecard to evaluate the measures needed to harmonise all the things (that we would need for the integration).”