Hanoi: Exports from six Southeast Asian countries fell 2.2 percent in 2020 from a year earlier to a combined 1.35 trillion USD, a relatively marginal decline despite COVID-19, according to data from the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).
Of the six, only Vietnam posted an increase in exports for the year, up 7 percent to 282.66 billion USD, with a 5.2 percent drop to Japan more than offset by a 25.7 percent rise to the US and an 18 percent expansion to China, report agencies.Meanwhile, the Philippines logged a 10.1 percent fall in exports last year, followed by a contraction of 6 percent in Thailand, 4.1 percent in Singapore and 2.6 percent each in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The combined trade surplus of the six ASEAN members more than triple to 133.66 billion USD, as easing energy prices and shrinking domestic demand led to steeper declines in imports than exports.
Thailand’s trade surplus surged 144.5 percent, compared with an increase of 83.5 percent for Vietnam, 43.9 percent for Singapore and 25.6 percent for Malaysia.
The Philippines narrowed its trade deficit by 46.3 percent to 21.84 billion USD. Indonesia chalked up a trade surplus of 21.74 billion USD, a turnaround from a deficit of 3.6 billion USD in 2019.
Singapore accounted for 27.4 percent of the six countries’ total trade by value in 2020, followed by Vietnam at 21.3 percent, Thailand at 17.1 percent, Malaysia at 16.5 percent, Indonesia at 11.9 percent and the Philippines at 5.8 percent.