PHILIPPINES ASIAâ€™S STRONGEST PERFORMING ECONOMY THE value of Philippine merchandise exports grew by 22.8% to $4.8 billion in September, 2012, higher than the $3.9 billion shipped out in the same month in 2011, making the country the strongest performer among Southeast and East Asian nations. The Philippines topped the exports growth of Hong Kong (15.8%), Vietnam (15.6%), Taiwan (10.4%), China (9.9%), and Thailand (0.2%). Electronics remained the top Philippine export product in September, 2012, with total receipts of $1.83 billion, 1.1% higher than the earnings last year, followed by woodcraft and furniture, and metal components. Other top export earners were banana, coconut oil, and tuna. Japan was the top destination of Philippine exports with a 30.8% share of total export receipts, followed by the United States, Peopleâ€™s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. After the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011, export orders poured into the Philippines to help support reconstruction efforts and fill the need for new products. Merchandise exports grew by 7.2% to $40.1 billion in the first three quarters from $37.4 billion in the same period last year. Annual gains in shipment revenues from manufactures (29%), forest products (185%), and petroleum (7.4%), supported the continues growth of total merchandise exports. The National Economic and Development Authority noted that the positive export growth in the first nine months of 2012 reflected the moderate improvement in global economic activity as industrial production and business confidence. Export targets under Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2011-2013 are $80.2 billion for 2012 and $89.2 billion for 2013. The key export sectors that make up 87% of current business are information technology-business process outsourcing, electronics, agribusiness products, minerals, shipbuilding, motor vehicle parts, garments and textiles, home-style products, and wearables. We congratulate Republic of the Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III, and Members of his Economic Team: Department of Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr., Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, and National Economic and Development Authority Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan, other Officers and Personnel, for their cooperation efforts to sustain and keep the momentum of economic growth. PHILIPPINES ASIAâ€™S STRONGEST PERFORMING ECONOMY | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online ******************************** Growing clout? One wonders how they will now apply their effort towards the turmoils that have brewed in the SCS given that they are no longer a impoverished pushover.