Electronics 2016 exports growth slowing to 2-5%

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THE country’s electronics exports this year are expected to grow at a much slower pace of 2 percent to 5 percent amid weak global demand, compared with 8 percent in 2015, an industry leader said.

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“Our projected growth (of exports) for 2016 is 2 to 5 percent,” said Dan Lachica, president of the Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (Seipi).

“This is because of the global economy — our main export destinations have not fully recovered like China, Japan, the US and Europe. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the global economy,” Lachica told reporters on Friday.

He said demand for cyber security products surged in 2015, “pulling growth up by 8 percent. We may not see the same demand in 2016, that’s why we’re targeting 2 to 5 percent.”

Data from Seipi showed that electronics exports in 2015 rose 8 percent to $29.92 billion from $26.79 billion in the previous year. About 70 percent of this came from semiconductors while the balance was from EMS [electronics manufacturing services], he said.

He added that Seipi and the government have agreed to start working on PATHS, or Product and Technology Holistic Strategy, which will serve as a framework in creating the environment that would attract new players to come in.

PATHS will replace the rushed electronics roadmap, Lachica said. The study is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

PATHS will be long-term oriented and will focus on promoting high-value chains in the country such as research & development and designs rather than the lower-end test and assembly specialization.

As the industry identifies the focus specialization sectors that have higher value, both Seipi and the government will then determine targets for investments, exports and employment in the industry, he said.

He explained that the problem with the rushed roadmap was the unattained investment target. The roadmap had targeted $2.5 billion worth of investments, $28 billion in exports, and 4 million workers.

In 2015, the electronics industry logged $29.92 billion worth of exports, 2.8 million workers, and P80.78 billion or $1.75 billion worth of investments.

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