THE impact of an economic downturn in Europe will be manageable as other markets could make up for lost business, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

"An economic downturn in any market may translate to lower sales of Philippine products," Pascual told The Manila Times.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual. DTI FILE PHOTO
Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual. DTI FILE PHOTO

He added, however, that "should such happen in the EU (European Union), we foresee that its impact on the continued recovery of Philippine exports will not be as severe."

The Trade department, Pascual continued, was "closely monitoring" economic developments in the EU, which is a major trade and investment partner.

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The EU was the Philippines' sixth-largest export market last year, taking a 10.8-percent share of total exports or $8.06 billion. In the same year, the EU accounted for 15.36 percent of approved foreign investments.

Economists have warned that the EU is on the verge of a recession given record inflation and energy shortages following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Pascual noted that prior to the invasion, Philippine exports to the EU — mostly electronic inputs and food/agri-based products — posted "strong export growth in 2021 and have already breached pre-pandemic export levels."

In case exports to the eurozone decline, he pointed to other markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, where growth has also been accelerating.

"We will continue to push for RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) ratification to sustain this momentum," Pascual added.

The RCEP is a trade agreement between the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and partners Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.