Intra-Asian Trade Boom to Shield PH from ‘Brexit’

While fondly anticipated by some and feared by most, “Brexit” is unlikely to register as anything but a faint blip on the Philippines’ trade outlook, an economist says 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 Thursday that the Philippines, along with other Asian nations, have lessened their trade dependence on EU markets over the years.

Its growing trade with Asian countries has also prepared the Philippines for any foreseeable negative impact of Brexit.

Early this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK targets to be officially out of the EU by March 29, 2019.

“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 told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an e-mail.

“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.

He noted that with the declining importance of UK as an export market for Asia, the region is not exposed directly to the effect of any sharp slowdown in UK imports following the Brexit.

For the Philippines alone, the country’s exports to UK account less than 1 percent of its total export revenues. (PNA)