PHL exports of digitally delivered services up 11% to $27.66B–WTO

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THE Philippines’ export of digitally delivered services rose 11 percent to $27.66 billion in 2022, from the $24.94 billion recorded in 2021, according to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) estimates.

The WTO report titled “Global Trade Outlook and Statistics” shows that the Philippines ranked 24th among the 30 “leading exporters of digitally delivered services” in 2022.

The country has a 0.7-percent share in the global exports of digitally delivered services which reached $3.82 trillion in 2022.

In terms of region, the report revealed that Asia’s growth of digitally delivered services exports have been rising faster than the rest of the world.

In fact, the report said, “In 2022, almost a quarter of digitally delivered services originated from Asian economies, and 19 percent from North America.”

While Europe accounts for more than half of global exports of digitally delivered services, the report said the region’s “stagnating” growth in 2022 largely reflects the depreciation of the euro and the British pound against the US dollar.

According to WTO estimates, in 2022, business, professional and technical services accounted for  around 40 percent of digitally delivered services exports, followed by computer services (20 percent), financial services (16 percent), intellectual property-related services (12 percent), insurance services (5 percent), telecommunications services (3 percent), audio-visual and other personal, cultural and recreational services (3 percent), and information services (1 percent).

Meanwhile, the WTO report revealed that WTO economists are now projecting global merchandise trade growth of 1.7 percent in 2023, up from last October’s estimate of 1 percent.

Despite this, the plurilateral body said the pace of trade expansion this year is still expected to be “subpar,” weighed down by the ongoing war in Ukraine, “stubbornly” high inflation, tighter monetary policy and financial uncertainty.

According to the WTO report, goods trade was more resilient than expected for most of 2022 despite the drag prompted by the war between Russia and Ukraine.

In fact, it said year-on-year merchandise trade volume growth averaged 4.2 percent in the first three quarters of 2022 before a 2.4-percent quarter-on-quarter decline in the fourth quarter dragged growth for the year down to 2.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Oxford Economics said while Asia Pacific trade data in the first two months of 2023 showed exports “flattening off” after the slump in the fourth quarter, the UK-based think tank said, “we think a pickup in trade is still a tall order.”

“Downside risks to the outlook have risen following recent global financial tumult. A systemic event has likely been avoided, but the impact of resulting tightening financial conditions is as yet unknown, and typically takes a few quarters to feed through,” Oxford Economics said on March 28.

“While we are not changing our forecasts, recent events strengthen our view that external demand will continue to wane and exports will see a slow and bumpy decline over the next few months, if not for longer,” the UK-based think tank also noted.