AI, IoT seen aiding PH electronics exports grow by 6% in 2018

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (SEIPI), the country’s organization of foreign and local semiconductor and electronics companies, sees the local electronics export industry growing by 6% in 2018 in part buoyed by current technology trends.

SEIPI president Dan Lachica speaks to guests from the media during the organization’s presentation of its 2017 Performance and 2018 Outlook Report held at the DTI office in Makati City. With him are (from left) Senen Perlada, DTI director for export marketing bureau, and Sunil Banwari, ON Semiconductor Philippines president and general manager

Speaking at a media event at the DTI office in Makati City on February 13, SEIPI president Dan Lachica said that the group is also considering trends in technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).

“With technology trends that are going up, the demand for electronics components will also increase,” he said. “What’s key really is in new technology, not necessarily a new company, which we also welcome.”

Added DTI director for export marketing bureau Senen Perlada, “In the new Philippine Export Development Plan, we will have a rather big treatment of innovation. So we’re looking now at what should we plan for in terms of robotics, A1, and IoT. All of these would have to come to play now. Things are happening very very fast.”

SEIPI’s positive outlook for 2018 picks up from the industry’s remarkable growth in 2017 where it reached a staggering $32.7 billion, accounting for 52% of the Philippines’ total exports in the entire year.

The 2017 figure is the highest ever recorded by local electronics exports and posts an 11% increase from 2016’s $29.4 billion. The leading export products in 2017 were office equipment, communication/radar, electronic data processing, telecommunication, and medical/industrial instrumentation.

Communication/radar equipment jumped by 52.74 in Year-to-Date (YTD) figures, from 2016’s $474.98M to $725.48 in 2017 while office equipment climbed by 51.40% from 2016. Also posting increases in YTD data were consumer electronics, components/devices or semiconductors, electronic data processing, and control and instrumentation.

Meanwhile, the top 10 export destinations were Hong Kong, United States, China, Singapore, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, Netherlands, Korea, and Thailand, the same countries which figured in the top 10 spots for 2016.

With its spectacular performance in 2017, the industry has contributed massively to national employment, hiring an estimated 3.2 million direct and indirect workers for manufacturing jobs. The industry expects to up this figure to 5.5 million direct and indirect workers by 2020.

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