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Electronics manufacturers see exports receipts dropping to $20B by yearend

SEIPI president Dan Lachica
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc (SEIPI) said export receipts this year would drop to $20 billion to $21 billion from $22.56 billion last year amid lackluster demand.

SEIPI president Dan Lachica told reporters that their latest board meeting on Thursday "affirms our projection that the industry will contract by 10 percent."

With this contraction, overall merchandise exports of the country would just match last year’s total of about $52 billion, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc estimated.

As of October, electronics and semiconductor exports reached $18 billion, as companies try to deplete their inventory amid lackluster demand. In 2012, the industry projected a recovery that would push growth to 5 percent from the 4-percent contraction in the previous year. However, this anticipanted uptick did not happen and thus the manufacturers ended up with a high inventory.

Lachica, however, said they are now confident that exports revenues would recover, turning in a 5-percent growth next year now that Europe and the US are now showing signs of recovery.

Early Thursday, the US Federal Reserve announced that it would start winding down its stimulus program by January on the back of the better jobs market.

"The recovery of the US bodes well for us," Lachica said.

He also said that China's focus on supplying its domestic demand have opened up the market for other exporters to Europe and the US, which is an opportunity for the semicon industry in the Philippines.

New investments in the country will also help the industry grow, with an influx of Japanese firms setting up shop locally following the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear accident. Another plus factor for the Philippines that that the two countries have already a "very successful" history together that is now being rediscovered in the shadow of the souring relationship between Japan and China.

Early this year, SEIPI presented its industry roadmap, which aimed to hit $112 billion worth of exports and $10 billion investments by 2030 under "optimum business conditions” coupled with "government support and academe partnership."