DTI sees minimal impact of nCoV on PH trade, economy

February 08, 2020
Ramon Lopez
Trade Sec. Lopez

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Friday the impact of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country’s trade and economic performance is minimal.

In a text message to reporters, Lopez said the country’s overall trade with the province of Hubei, ground zero of the 2019-nCoV, is only 0.9 percent of the total trade with China.

Hubei only shared 1.2 percent of the Philippines’ import from China and 0.5 percent of the country’s total export to the East Asian nation, he added.

“Assuming companies sourcing from affected areas in China, (they) may find alternative sources so as not to disrupt their supply chain. So this would further minimize the impact on trade,” Lopez said.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show that from January to November last year, two-way trade between the Philippines and China amounted to USD31.34 billion.

The Philippines’ exports to China stood at USD8.79 billion while imports from China reached USD22.55 billion.

Lopez noted that the main effect of the 2019-nCov is on the movement of people, particularly the tourism sector.

“But it can mean lowering of hotel and plane rates to encourage more domestic tourism,” he said.

PNA