Thursday, 11 March 2010

Electronics investments up 20%

Max V. de Leon
Business Mirror

FRESH investments in the Philippine electronics and semiconductor industries increased by 20 percent in 2009 to $480 million, from only $400 million in 2008.

With this growth in investments, plus the significant increase in orders from customers abroad, the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (Seipi) said its exports for the year could grow by 15 percent to 20 percent.

Ernie Santiago, Seipi president, reported that 84 companies registered new investments last year, with 78 of them totally new projects. The rest are expansion of existing facilities.

Among the companies that registered fresh investments in 2009 are Hoya Glass Disk, Toshiba Information Equipment, HPOI, Ibiden, STMicroelectronics, Temic, Taiyo Yuden and Numonyx.

The industry, Santiago said, would now also be on a hiring mode after undertaking workforce rationalization as a result of the global financial crisis.

“More than 12,000 skilled engineers, technicians and operators are expected to be directly employed and hired by the industry due to these investments,” Santiago said.

Based on an industry study, Santiago said every direct job created also spurs seven other indirect jobs.

With this, he said close to 100,000 new workers would be employed because of these new investments in the industry.

Seipi is the largest organization of foreign and Filipino semiconductor and electronics companies in the country. Its member-firms account for almost two-thirds of the total Philippine merchandise exports.

Santiago said Seipi decided to upgrade its target exports growth for 2010 from the original range of 10 percent to 15 percent, to 15 percent to 20 percent, as several of its members reported record-high orders from customers abroad.

“Ramping up of production of many projects were delayed in 2009 but were reported to be all rolling out now. With the recovering global economy, it is expected that more investments would come into the country this year,” Santiago said.

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