Despite the sluggish demand for electronics in the past quarters, Japanese firm Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. will be investing P350 million in a new facility that will manufacture monolithic ceramic capacitors in Tanauan, Batangas.
The investment also paves the way for the establishment of a new local subsidiary, Philippine Manufacturing Co. of Murata Inc.
The new facility is scheduled to start commercial operations by January 2013.
In a statement, the Japanese firm noted the growing demand in recent years for electronic components, driven by the popularity of smartphones and media tablets.
“Such demand is anticipated to grow even further in the future. In this environment, we have been examining the expansion of overseas production and the enhancement of our production base in order to meet our rising supply obligations,” the company said in the statement.
“Consequently, we have decided to establish a new overseas production base in the Philippines in view of securing a stable and abundant workforce and targeting emerging markets such as the Asean,” it added.
Murata has an existing facility within the Laguna Technopark.
In a separate statement, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the country continued to attract a lot of investor interest, particularly in the electronics sector.
“The key here is to continually support them, and our support is primarily through (the Philippine Economic Zone Authority). We will make sure that PEZA continues to service the electronics exports industry so that we can continue to promote this industry,” he said.
Aside from electronics, Domingo said the government was also looking at becoming one of the region’s tire manufacturing hubs.
He related that during President Benigno Aquino III’s visit to China, a Chinese tire manufacturing firm had expressed “strong interest” in putting up a production facility here.
Japanese company Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. last year announced it would be expanding its facility in Clark, Pampanga, to produce 17 million tires a year within the next five years, from the current 6 million tires. Domingo said this would make the Philippines Yokohama’s biggest tire manufacturing location in the world.