Home » Customs & Trade, Features » PH electronics sector confident of 10-15% 2012 growth

2012 is a “snap back” year.

Ernesto Santiago, president of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industry of the Philippines Inc. , said the industry is in recovery mode as retailers and importers start purchasing again to replenish inventories.

From a decline of 20 percent in its 2011 export performance, Santiago said the industry is headed for a “snap back”. Expected to drive this demand are “killer applications” and the improved consumer spending trend projected to have “spill-over effects on the industry”.

Santiago was speaking during the recent opening ceremonies of the Philippine Semiconductor and Electronics Convention and Exhibition at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Manila.

Growth was moderate in the first quarter and will slowly pick up until the 10 to 15 percent growth is achieved by end of the year.  By then, Santiago expects growth to attain the 2010 level of over $21 billion.

He noted it was in 2010 when tablets were launched and consumers scrambled to buy their first iPads, thus the robust performance. He added that new technologies and applications for automotive electronics, smart phones and mobile infotainment will bring in the bulk of the business for electronics. He also stressed that the next big drive in computing will be on interconnectivity, no longer power and speed. These will continue to bring in the bulk of the business for electronics.

Also fuelling the bullish projection are fresh investments and expansion from major players. The industry generated $2.27 billion worth of investments in 2010 and $2.477 billion in 2011.

According to Santiago, this is “the highest that was recorded in our industry’s history and the eighth time we have hit an investments figure of over $1 billion in one given year”.

Overall, a total of 178 companies put in stakes, 31 of them new entrants, including Canon Business Machine (Philippines) Inc., maker of laser printers and parts, and Philippine Manufacturing Co. of Murata Inc., producer of monolithic ceramic capacitors and electro-magnetic interference suppression filters, and First Philec Nexolon, which brought in a combined $721 million or 30 percent of the total.

Among companies that have been operating in the Philippines for quite a time, 147 expanded their operations or started new projects. Their combined investments were pegged at $1.7 billion representing 70 percent of the total.

Some of SEIPI’s members in this league were Amkor Technology Philippines Inc., Texas Instruments (Phils.) Inc., American Power Conversion Corp., Ibiden Philippines Inc., Nidec Philippines Corp., Sunpower Philippines Manufacturing Ltd., Analog Devices Gen. Trias Inc., and Samsung.

Santiago said last year’s investments are expected to create 35,358 direct jobs and another 250,000 indirect jobs, while an additional 16,000 employees are seen to be hired this year on improved business.

The Philippine electronics industry remains the economy’s major contributor, accounting for 61.18% of total exports for 2010.  Exports dropped 28.17% from $28.501 billion in 2008 to $22.182 billion in 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis during that period. The industry managed to recover the following year when it posted a 41% increase in exports to $31.079 billion in 2010. From January to May this year, exports reached $16 billion.

“The trend has not changed. Our growth is cyclical but going towards the upward trajectory,” Santiago said.

Product coverage includes Semiconductors and other components, biggest sub-sector; Electronic Data Processing Equipment; Office Equipment; Telecommunications Equipment; Communications and Radar; Control and Instrumentation ; Medical and Industrial; Automotive Electronics; Consumer Electronics; and Solar/Photovoltaics.

This emerging subsector consists of devices that make use of solar cells in producing electricity for practical use. The presence of big international companies such as SunPower Manufacturing Ltd. and Solaria Corporation helps in positioning the Philippines as a solar manufacturing hub in Asia.

Photo of Electric Circuit by anankkml
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

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