Australia is expecting two-way trade with the Philippines to further expand this year, after sustained growth over the last five years.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely says trade between the two countries has been steadily increasing in recent years and the trend is set to continue.
“Trade between Australia and the Philippines is at $4.20 billion and increasing fast at the rate of 10 percent over the last five years,” Ms Gorely told BusinessMirror in a recent interview.
Beef, lamb, wine, wheat, consulting services, services and engineering are Australia’s main exports to the Philippines.
Also, there are 200 Australian companies now operating in the Philippines. They employ more than 30,000 Filipinos in the business-process outsourcing, finance, oil and gas, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.
On the Philippine side, main exports to Australia include heating and cooling equipment, electrical machinery and parts, mechanical machinery, pumps, coconut and rubber tyres.
And Philippine companies like International Container Terminal Services Inc., Monde Nissin and San Miguel Corp., have a strong presence in Australia.
The Philippines ranks Australia among its top 20 import sources, while Australia is also in the top 20 among countries the Philippines sends exports.
Australia is looking toward sustained trade growth and investment links with the Philippines and views the economic reforms implemented by President Aquino as positive steps towards greater cooperation and building investor confidence.
The Philippines is also a signatory in the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area, which opens and creates new opportunities for its 600 million population and combined economic output of $.265 trillion.
This agreement will:
- Progressively reduce tariffs
- Facilitate movement of goods through flexible rules of origin
- Simplify custom procedures
- Liberalise trade barriers
- Facilitate movement of individuals engaged in trade and investment
- Install an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.