Friday, 4 June 2010

Electronics can snare $10B in yearly investments

Written by Max V. de Leon
Business Mirror

THE country’s electronics sector can attract up to $10 billion in fresh investments yearly as long as the government supports its programs, particularly in the area of international promotions, leaders said.

Arthur Young, chairman of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (Seipi), said getting $1 billion in fresh investments annually would be easy because even the existing firms needed to infuse more funds for expansion and to maintain their competitive edge.

“But why should we just be content with getting $1 billion, when we can also get $5 billion to $10 billion in investments annually just like Vietnam?” Young said.

But Ernie Santiago, Seipi president, said that in order to achieve these goals, their organization must seek fresh support programs from the incoming administration, including a P200-million yearly allocation for international promotions.

Seipi officials are seeking a meeting with apparent President-elect Benigno Aquino III next month to present the concerns of the sector and the support measures it would need from the government.

An immediate need, Santiago said, was in the area of international promotions to enable Seipi to “sell” the country better to more foreign investors.

“We will need P200 million annually for promotional funds to get the big-time players,” Santiago told the BusinessMirror.

He said aside from trade fairs, Seipi needed to post advertisements in big global networks such as CNN and CNBC.

“What we would be advertising is not just the industry but the Philippines as an investment destination. I believe the new administration can also use the good image of our electronics industry in projecting to the world the positive developments in the country,” Santiago said.

The industry needs to do a lot of promotional work, especially now that the big global players have come up with an assessment that they would need another country in Asia outside of China as a manufacturing hub, he said.

Aside from an extensive international promotion campaign, Young said Seipi was also formulating a medium-term master plan to help guide the industry and the government in charting the growth of semiconductor and electronics manufacturing in the country.

“This will be a five- to 10-year roadmap identifying where technology is going, what would be the next business models and where the Philippines should position itself,” Young said.

Santiago said the Seipi team now crafting the road map will meet again in July. It hopes to finish by October.

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