Investments in the electronics industry from January to September grew 67 percent, according to the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI).
SEIPI is now expecting to post a 12-percent export growth this year based on the industry’s 12.35-percent actual growth from January to August this year.
In a press conference yesterday at the Makati Shangri-La, Art Tan, current president of SEIPI, announced the industry’s revised upward export growth target based on the strong performance of the industry for the first eight months of the year.
SEIPI had originally expected a 10-percent export growth for this year.
However, despite the expected strong 2006 growth, Tan said, SEIPI would conservatively maintain a 10-percent growth projection for 2007.
Investments in the electronics industry from January to September this year posted a substantial increase of 67 percent to P28.77 billion or $575 million compared to only P17.187 billion or $330 million.
Majority of the new investments, however, SEIPI clarified, was additional investments by existing investors.
The additional investments were made by such firms as Intel with P6.867 billion; Toshiba with P5.1 billion; Cypress Manufacturing with P3.412 billion; Texas Instruments with P2.272 billion; Taiyo Yuden with P2.024 billion and Integrated Microcircuits Inc. with P1.008 billion.
The growth this year and possibly for the future, SEIPI said, is being fueled by continued demand for electronic consumer products.
Last year electronics exports managed to grow only 2.3 percent from $26.726 billion in 2004 to $27.287 billion in 2005.
In the briefing yesterday, SEIPI officials led by Tan, Arthur Young of PSI Technologies, Norberto Viera of Texas Instruments and Ernie Santiago, executive director of SEIPI, noted the country’s continuing strong performance in spite of fears about the "China factor."
Tan rationalized that most electronics buyers are adopting a "China plus" strategy instead of relying heavily on China for its electronic requirements.
As such, countries such as the Philippines and even Vietnam benefit from the China plus strategy.
However, Richard Cohen of ON Semiconductors stressed the need for the Philippines to improve its competitiveness in terms of continuing to provide a stable workforce, adequate infrastructure and incentives.
Cohen clarified though that the incentives may not necessarily mean just money, but could include effort to lessen red tape and lowering the cost of money.