Thursday, 18 March 2010

Japan electronics firm investing P13B

Gerard S. dela Peña

JAPAN-BASED electronics firm Nidec Corp. plans to infuse P13 billion in additional investments into the country this year, a move that government officials said would generate thousands of jobs.

The firm is expanding its manufacturing operations in the country, Nidec Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Shigenobu Nagamori said.

“It is very easy to hire outstanding engineers and workers in this country. They stay with the company for a very long time and they are very good in English. We should have invested more because of the potentials that this country has,” Mr. Nagamori told Palace reporters Tuesday night after company officials made a courtesy call to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The company, known worldwide for its technology that allowed for the reduction of the size of hard disk drives, has manufacturing plants and research and development centers in six Asian countries, and a sales office in Germany.

Locally, it has four subsidiaries operating in Laguna and Subic Bay free port.

These are Nidec Philippines Corp. (manufacturing of spindle motors for hard disk drives); Nidec Precision Philippines Corp. (manufacturing of components for precision motors); Nidec Subic Philippines Corp. (manufacturing of spindle motors); and Nidec Copal Philippines Corp. (production of precision mini-motors).

The company’s investments through its four subsidiaries in the country have reached P14.9 billion as of end-2009. Additional funds will put the company’s investments to a total of P27.9 billion or roughly $652 million, Mr. Nagamori said.

He said the company could increase total investments to up to $1 billion this year as long as the government is willing to throw in support.

“If the next president will support us, then we will increase our investments,” he said.

“We were able to form a very good relationship between the government heads, that’s why it was very much easier for us to expand our investments. Investing will be very risky if we don’t have very good relationship with your government,” he added.

Lilia B. de Lima, director-general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, who accompanied Nidec officials, said the company’s investments could generate more than 10,000 jobs.

The local units of Nidec currently have a total work force of 14,564.

“This will create directly at least 10,000 jobs. If you’re in the electronics sector, if you create one job, you indirectly create another seven. The multiplier effect is very big because normally they are able to bring in their own suppliers from Japan,” Ms. de Lima said.

Electronic products are the country’s top exports, contributing 56.8% or $2.03 billion to aggregate export revenues as of January.

Nidec said its exports reached P14.38 billion as of end-2009.

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