PHL semiconductors spearhead export surge in February

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

In an encouraging sign for the Philippine economy, February 2024 saw the country’s merchandise exports leap by 15.7% to USD 5.9 billion, spurred by the semiconductor industry’s robust performance.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s preliminary data underscores a potent uplift in the semiconductor sector, which escalated by 31.9% to reach a decade-high of USD 2.65 billion in exports.

The momentum extends beyond a single month, as the first two months of 2024 recorded a 12.3% boost in total merchandise exports, amounting to USD 11.8 billion.

Electronic products, constituting nearly 63% of the nation’s exports, have been key players, experiencing a 26.8% growth.

Parallel to the Philippines’ growth, global semiconductor sales flourished with a 16.3% increase in February, the largest since May 2022, portending a year of sustained market expansion.

The United States, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, the Netherlands, and Taiwan were the top importers of Philippine goods, showcasing double-digit growth, with Hong Kong leading the surge.

Conversely, Singapore’s import rates from the Philippines declined both year-on-year and year-to-date.

Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Fred Pascual noted that “The robust export performance in February, after the 9.1% year-on-year increase in January, promises a bright year ahead for our export sector.”

Pascual highlighted the recovery of the electronics sector, now nearing export figures not seen since before the pandemic.

With an optimistic outlook, Pascual said, “We are hopeful that this growth momentum will be sustained in the coming months,” and committed to continued collaboration with the private sector, government agencies, and partners to strengthen the Philippines’ export environment.

Further solidifying the growth strategy, the DTI embarked on the Origin Management System for the Promotion of FTAs in the Philippines Project, backed by South Korea, to aid local manufacturers and traders in leveraging FTAs and GSPs.

The project, aligning with the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2023-2028, is set to simplify export processes using technology such as an AI-enabled Harmonized System classification tool.

DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo expressed gratitude for Korea’s support and recognized the potential of this initiative to enhance Philippine exports.

“Ahead of the entry into force of the Philippines-Korea FTA, we are thankful for the Korean government’s support to our Philippine exporters,” Rodolfo said.

Additionally, the DTI’s Juan for the World (JFTW) Program supports MSME exporters in brand protection and market expansion through the Madrid Protocol, while the “Usapang Exports” talks aim to empower Philippine businesses with knowledge on exports.

For export inquiries, DTI-EMB can be contacted at, or by visiting