Philippines Country profile

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Total two-way trade between Australian and the Philippines reached A$4.7b in 2017, up 81% since 2010.  Australian merchandise exports to the Philippines were worth A$2b made up primarily of wheat, precious metals, beef and coal. Service exports to the Philippines were worth A$833m made up mostly of education.

Australian merchandise imports from the Philippines were worth A$671m and consisted mainly of gold, copper and electrical machinery. Service imports were worth A$1b with tourism accounting for the majority.

Over 287 Australian companies are now fully established in the Philippines. Australia and the Philippines are both members of APEC, and Australia is an active participant in the East Asia Summit (EAS). The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZ) now allows for 95% of Australian products to enter the Philippines duty free while 97% of products made in the Philippines can enter Australia with the same advantage.

Negotiations over a new free trade agreement called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership add further upside to the trade outlook. The proposed FTA would involve all ASEAN nations, plus Australia, China, India, Korea and New Zealand. These nations amount to 40% of total world GDP.

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Filipino student enrolments and tourist arrivals into Australia have grown rapidly over the past decade. There were approximately 127,300 Filipino tourists visiting Australia throughout 2017, close to double from 2011, and there were almost 11,000 student enrolments. Robust growth in household incomes have supported growing Filipino demand for Australian goods and services.

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In 2017, Australia’s investment in the Philippines was A$9.7b, accounting for 0.4% of Australia’s total portfolio of foreign direct investment. The Philippines’s investment in Australia was A$560m, a near threefold decrease from 2016, but in line with previous levels of investment.

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