DTI chief urges Philippine auto sector to identify niche | Inquirer Business
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DTI chief urges Philippine auto sector to identify niche

/ 09:22 PM September 18, 2011

The Philippines should find its niche in the auto sector, similar to what Thailand has done, if it wants to someday become a regional export base for complete built-up (CBUs) units.

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the local auto sector was now “in limbo,” as neither the government nor the industry players knew exactly where the industry should go.

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“Both the industry and the government don’t know exactly what to do. Our ultimate plan is to become a big manufacturing base for CBU exports, but we can only do that if we find our niche. Thailand and Indonesia are already too big for us to compete with, so we really have to find a specific (segment of the auto industry) within which to play,” Domingo told the Inquirer.

“The Philippines will have to look for its niche. We don’t have the knowledge [within the government] to decide which segment of the sector we should focus on, so we need the industry’s help to craft that strategy,” he added.

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Domingo said that once a niche was identified and it was proven—with data from an extensive study—that it would make the country an auto exporting base, the government would throw its full support behind it.

“Once we find that strategy, we’ll support it fully and totally. We’ll give as many incentives as the law will allow,” he said.

While the auto parts industry already provided substantial export dollars to the country, equivalent to thousands of CBUs in terms of volume and value, Domingo said this was not enough to propel the local auto industry forward.

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TAGS: Auto industry, Government, Philippines
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