Philippine electronics industry poised for continued growth — SEIPI
(The Philippine Star) - June 21, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -  The electronics industry remains strong amid “noises” surrounding the country, the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (SEIPI) said.

“The good news is that investors have seen what happened last year and it’s still business as usual, investments continue to come in, and whatever concerns there were have been communicated,” said SEIPI president Dan Lachica, referring to incidents that troubled investors which included “misrepresentations of President Duterte’s pronouncements.”

“Now there are new scares like martial law in Mindanao and supposed terrorist attack in Resorts World which isn’t. But after all is said and done, we’re holding on to a five to seven percent growth projection for the year, notwithstanding what you hear. We are comfortable in hitting that,” he added.

Lachica was referring to this year’s target for electronics exports growth, which last year ended flat at $28.6 billion from $28.9 billion in 2015.

“Another indicator that things are alright, this PSECE (Philippine Semiconductor and Electronics Convention and Exhibition) has the most number of exhibitors in our history with over 250. For the very first time, China has also come to the PSECE and they have 13 companies that are exhibiting,” he said.

SEIPI opened yesterday the 14th edition of the PSECE, an annual electronics trade show and convention of the leading electronic firms in the country and its suppliers.  

“So that is an indication that notwithstanding the martial law, notwithstanding the Resorts World attack, confidence is really strong, especially with the switch to digital economy. We need electronics components, we need semiconductors. And the Philippines is a good place to be as far as that is concerned,” he added.

Another indication of the rosy prospects for the Philippine electronics industry is the continued downpour of new investments in the sector.

Lachica said one multinational company is investing $100 million on capital equipment to expand its capacity as well as innovation capabilities in the country.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, meanwhile, said a German company is also pouring in $43 million for capacity expansion in the country.

“That’s only one. I’m sure there are many others. We are the hub because as you know, we’re one of the major exporters of electronics,” Lopez said.

“The importance of the electronics industry cannot be understated. As one of the pillars of the country’s industrial growth, the industry is a top export performer with a 51.3 percent total share to total exports in 2016 worth $28.8 billion. Likewise, electronics contributed 17.7 percent to the manufacturing gross value added (GVA), the second largest manufacturing sector in terms of GVA. More importantly the Philippine electronics industry has generated about 2.6 million direct and indirect employment,” he added.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) director general Charito Plaza said her agency is also optimistic that 2017 will be “a very big year for the industry.”

PEZA electronics and semiconductors investments for the first quarter posted a huge increase of 85 percent to P7.64 billion from P4.13 during the same period last year.

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