This report uses the Duke CGGC global value chain (GVC) framework to examine the role
of the Philippines in the global chemical industry and identify opportunities for
the country to upgrade. The Philippine chemicals sector is growing rapidly alongside
economic expansion and a revival in manufacturing. By 2013, the chemicals sector as
a whole accounted for 6.7% of GDP. Chemicals exports reached US$2.2 billion in 2014,
approximately 3.5% of the country’s export basket. The sector’s expansion has outpaced
both global and regional trade; with a compound annual growth rate of 13% since 2007,
three times as fast as global exports, and twice as fast as Asian regional exports.
Participation in the export market is based primarily on commodity products in the
oleochemicals and petrochemicals sub-sectors. Within these segments, exports are driven
by a small number of products, with the top 10 accounting for approximately threequarters
of all exports. While the country is a small player in the global chemicals trade,
accounting for just 0.2% of exports in 2014, it has generally been successful in carving
out a presence in these niche products, and is one of the global leaders in most of
its top product categories.
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