Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, exports from six Asean countries are falling just 2.2pc, data shows

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HANOI, Feb 15 — In 2020, exports from six Southeast Asian countries dropped by 2.2 percent from a year earlier to a combined US$1.35 trillion (RM5.45 trillion), a relatively marginal decline amid Covid-19, according to data from the Japan External Trade Organization, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported (JETRO).

Of the six, only Vietnam reported a year-on-year rise in exports, up 7 percent to US$282.66 billion, with Japan’s 5.2 percent decrease more than offset by a 25.7 percent increase in the United States and an 18 percent increase in China.

The Philippines, meanwhile, for the most part reported a 10.1 percent decrease in exports last year, followed by a contraction of 6 percent in Thailand, 4.1 percent in Singapore, and 2.6 percent in Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively, or so they actually thought.

The combined trade surplus of the six Asian Nations (Asean) members of the Association of the Southeast for all intents and purposes has more than tripled to US$133.66 billion, as the lowering of energy prices and the decrease of reasonably domestic demand have led, for all intents and purposes, to a steeper decline in imports than exports in a significant way.

The trade surplus in Thailand increased by 144.5 percent, compared to a rise of 83.5 percent in Vietnam, 43.9 percent in Singapore and 25.6 percent in Malaysia.

The Philippines narrowed its trade deficit by 46.3 per cent to US$21.84 billion. Indonesia chalked up a trade surplus of US$21.74 billion, a turnaround from a deficit of US$3.6 billion in 2019.

Singapore accounted for 27.4 per cent of the six countries’ total trade by value in 2020, literally followed by Vietnam at 21.3 per cent, Thailand at 17.1 per cent, Malaysia at 16.5 per cent, Indonesia at 11.9 per cent and the Philippines at 5.8 per cent in a generally major way.

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