MANILA, Philippines — Southeast Asia’s merchandise and commercial service exports are likely to post slower growth this year from last year as global demand weakens, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
“Looking ahead, Southeast Asia’s merchandise exports are expected to grow by 22.6 percent in 2022 and then by 3.5 percent in 2023,” the ESCAP said in its Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Trends 2022/2023 Sub-Regional report.
From 2017 to 2021, merchandise exports from Southeast Asia grew by 10.1 percent, faster than Asia-Pacific’s 9.6 percent annual growth.
In 2021, Southeast Asia’s merchandise exports went up by 24.2 percent.
Latest data available from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the country’s merchandise exports amounted to $73.17 billion in the first 11 months of 2022, seven percent higher than the $68.37 billion recorded in the same period a year ago.
ESCAP said exports of goods from Asia-Pacific, excluding the Russian Federation, which are expected to have increased by 10.2 percent last year, are projected to rise by a more modest 1.9 percent this year.
Similar to merchandise exports, ESCAP also sees Southeast Asia’s services exports expanding at a slower pace this year.
“Southeast Asia’s services exports are expected to increase by 19.1 percent in 2022 and then by 10.3 percent in 2023,” ESCAP said.
Over the 2017 to 2021 period, Southeast Asia’s commercial services exports grew by 0.2 percent annually.
In 2021, services exports from Southeast Asia rose by 2.1 percent following a 26.7 percent decline in 2020.
ESCAP said services exports from Asia-Pacific, excluding the Russian Federation, are anticipated to have grown by 8.9 percent last year.
For this year, ESCAP expects services exports from Asia-Pacific to grow by eight percent.
Services exports in Asia-Pacific grew by 18.8 percent last year after falling by 21.4 percent in 2020.