DESPITE maintaining a tempered sales growth target of 2 percent to 5 percent this year, the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Foundation Inc. (Seipi) is projecting the industry will hit $31 billion in sales of by the end of the year, which would equal the all-time high for the sector.
“Our [industry sales]growth target is still at a range of 2 percent to 5 percent in 2016, and it will be in the neighborhood of $30 billion to $31 billion. It’s possible that we can hit the peak of $31 billion because of the expansion of new technologies of our member companies,” Seipi President Dan Lachica said.
For the components or semiconductors alone, the Seipi president said the industry “is seeing a 3 percent growth…”
Lachica said the industry has been experiencing “increase in volumes but decline in values” in electronics investments, citing that there are more expansion efforts among existing local players than entrance of new investors compared to their record year in 2010.
The industry had its sales peak in 2010 when it logged $31 billion in revenues, but declined through 2014, ending that year at $22 billion.
Last year, Seipi said the electronics industry earned a total of $28.9 billion.
The Seipi president said the industry is looking at bringing in more investors to the research and development (R&D) space, including facilities dedicated to design which can bring higher value to local electronics industry than the present primary manufacture of analog devices.
In order to further raise industry sales, Lachica said they are “looking at other growth sectors and areas” such as big data analytics, electronic data processing, Internet of Things, information electronics, telecommunication electronics, and automotive electronics that can drive growth.
At present, Seipi has received “a lot of inquiries” from potential entrants that are looking to relocate their manufacturing hubs to the country from China.
Lachica said as these interested foreign players inquire about the Philippine market, Seipi and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) have been active in promoting the local electronics industry’s R&D space, citing that the Philippines has “strong IT intellectual property protection” and that there is an effort to improve engineering educational content, which are the main concerns of firms when it comes to R&D investments.
In terms of employment, Seipi is retaining its target of growing direct employees to 352,000 to 355,000 this year from the 351,000 direct workers at present.
These direct workers, Lachica said may have seven times multiplier effect due to additional labor force needed to cater to this market such as shuttle bus drivers, canteen workers, and security guards, among others.