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Phl electronics industry expects rebound this year

CEBU, Philippines - After a year of decline, the Philippine electronics industry is now back to its shape for year 2012 as the biggest export industry of the country.

Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) Chairman Bing Viera announced that 2012 will be a snap back year for the industry after responding to the issues and concerns that badly affected the industry the previous years.

Last year, the Philippine electronics industry accounted for more than US$ 24 billion of exports or two-thirds of the total country’s exports, invested US$ 2.4 billion and directly employed 530,000 engineers, technicians and operators. From their study, for every one direct job, there are seven indirect jobs created, thus more than four million Filipinos are benefitting from the said industry.

He added that the last two years were the highest and biggest investment so far, of the industry and for the last eight years, there is an average of US$ 2 billion worth of investments. In 2011, 178 companies had invested and direct jobs were generated for 35,000 employees.

In the electronics industry, Viera said that there is a month-to-month increase of 8.31% and year-to-year upturn of 1.7%. However, he noted that 2011 is a down year for the industry amid its performance recorded if each sector will be evaluated separately.

Records show that in January to February of 2011, electronic exports accounted US$ 4.16 billion which is 57.87% of the Philippine total exports. But during the first two months of this year, electronic exports generated US$ 4.29 billion that is up to 7.91% increase compared to last year and 58.76% of the country’s total exports.

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Moreover, semi-conductor exports which are considered to be the highest chunk of the electronic industry of the Philippines with 72% of the total exports has been reported to account US$ 3.24 billion this year compared to US$ 3.04 billion from the first two months in 2011.

Comprising 2% of total export of the country, he further said that telecommunication exports has a 300% phenomenal growth and that the electronics industry is considering it as a niche.  

In its commitment to continue its growth, Viera stated that they are seeing progress in 2012 with a prognosis of 10-15% growth as the electronics industry thrives along and to prove that Philippines is a profitable development and investment for businesses.

Meanwhile, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said that the growth and resilience of the industry is exceptional amid the global economic slowdown for the past couple of years.

He said that after a decade of accounting for an average of 65% of the country's total exports, it dropped to around 50% last year that contributed to the decline in total merchandise exports and pulled down the 2011 GDP growth rate by 2.2 %. Despite such decrease, Aquino noted that the 6 % growth of direct employment in the industry from 500,000 in 2010 to 530,000 in 2011 is an encouraging sign for the electronics industry.

“You have been able to thrive, and not merely survive, in the Philippines despite the limitations presented by the business environment, which cannot be separated from the political milieu. And now that the stars are finally beginning to align, now that the roadblocks on the path to progress are finally removed, I can only imagine the greater heights your industry can achieve, as you build on the momentum that the entire country is experiencing right now,” Aquino stated during the 17th World Electronics Forum and SEIPI 108th general membership meeting.

He further commended the semiconductors and electronics industry with its consistency in its innovation, understanding, and vision towards progress and assured the industry with the administration’s active support amidst challenges. (FREEMAN)

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