China has kept the position of the Philippines' top bilateral trading partner for the second year, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
"The Philippines' total merchandise trade with China continues to rise and China has become our top bilateral trading partner surpassing Japan in 2016. This was brought about by imports growth averaging 20.7 percent from 2010 to 2017," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told a business forum.
For 2017, he said Philippine exports to China grew 8.4 percent, with top exports mostly being electronic products, close to 50 percent.
As China rebalances to a more consumption-driven economy, Pernia said this will provide opportunities for more exports of consumer goods and agri-products.
On the other hand, he said imports from China increased 8.1 percent comprised mostly of capital goods and raw materials and intermediate goods.
For 2017, Pernia said other exports to China that appear to show promising growth were coconut oil, communication radar equipment, abaca fibers, copra meal or cake, and mangoes.
Meanwhile, Pernia said hefty gains from imports such as professional and scientific instrument, fish products, coal and coke, dairy products, pulp and waste paper were also observed.