The Philippine has been maintaining trade deficit with other ASEAN members despite high economic growth, Xinhua news agency quoted Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal as saying on November 5.

The Philippine trade deficit with ASEAN allies climbed 43.5 percent from 3.9 billion USD in 2010 to 5.6 billion USD in 2011, but eased to 4.3 billion USD in 2012, a drop of 23.2 percent, Adrian Cristobal said.

However, Philippine exports to other ASEAN members grew by 20.4 percent per year in the 1992-2008 period. At present, about 19 percent of Philippine exports go to ASEAN markets, he said.

The ASEAN provides better alternative source of imports for key inputs, raw materials, critical finished products or components in global value chains, he added.

The Trade Department noted that the Philippine trade with ASEAN is largely intra-industry in nature in the same manner that the country's trade relationship in ASEAN is largely complementary rather than competitive in nature.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.-VNA