Speedy vaccination will keep trade momentum

 

Economic activities are slowly moving to full capacity as the Philippines eases to a cautious reopening of businesses. The trade sector is looking forward to a sustained recovery and expecting unhampered growth.

 

MANILA — The trade sector warns authorities to remain vigilant against the resurgence of cases that will require more lockdowns.

Trade would benefit from the Government’s efforts to speed up the vaccination program, said Finance undersecretary Gil Beltran in an economic bulletin.

Failure to manage the transmission of the Delta variant would force the sector to step back. He said it is imperative that the Government monitors how the virus spreads and how it will affect the resumption of trade activities.

July’s exports rose by nearly 13 percent to $6.42 billion. Electronics, the country’s largest shipment, grew by more than 10 percent to $3.68 billion. Imports bloated by close to 24 percent to $9.71 billion, as markets abroad started to live with the pandemic.

The trade deficit has widened by more than half to $21.3 billion, from $13.5 billion from last year. In the seven months to July exports climbed by about 20 percent to $42.39 billion while imports ballooned by over 30 percent to $63.7 billion.

“Nevertheless, with the prevalence of the more infections COVID-19 Delta variant in the country, the Government will continue to be vigilant and be ready to respond to the additional risks posed by the virus with the appropriate management measures, lest the green shoots in the economy be stamped out completely,” Mr Beltran said.

With the rebound of trading partners like China, Japan, and the United States and the result of base effects from last year, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) is expecting exports to improve by 10 percent this year. (RA/Headline PH)

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