By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the Philippines is doing little trade with Hubei, whose capital Wuhan is the epicenter of the 2019 novel coronavirus, and therefore its impact on the country’s supply chain could only minimally affect the overall domestic economy.
Based on the DTI estimate, imports from Hubei is only around 1.2 percent of the Philippines total imports from China. Philippines exports to Hubei is also low around 0.5 percent only.
This translates to the country’s total trade with Hubei to only around 0.9 percent of total trade with China. Overall, China accounts for 20 percent of the Philippines total trade.
Trade contributes 15 percent of the overall Philippine GDP.
Still, Lopez said, “Net net, the impact of the supply chain from Wuhan on the country’s GDP is minimal.”
In addition, Lopez was hopeful that the impact of the nCoV will also be further mitigated assuming companies are able to source temporary alternative sources so as not to disrupt their supply chain.
“The main effect is on movement of people, the tourism sector,” he added. But this should also encourage hotels and airlines to offer cheaper rates to encourage more domestic tourism.