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Electronics exports seen growing by 7 to 8%

Weakness in global economy, China worries industry
By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 01:32 AM February 01, 2016

THE COUNTRY’S semiconductor and electronic products exports were estimated to have grown by 7 to 8 percent to $28 billion in 2015.

Dan Lachica, president of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (Seipi), said in an interview that the growth in the industry’s export receipts last year was due largely to the “higher than expected demand from semiconductor components, office equipment, telecom, and consumer electronics” sectors.

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The growth estimate was double the 4-percent target set by Seipi in the last quarter of 2015. In the first quarter of last year, Seipi projected a 5- to 7-percent growth in electronics exports. The target was slashed in August 2015 to 3 to 5 percent to reflect the global market conditions at that time.

According to Lachica, Seipi has set a more conservative export revenue guidance of 4 percent this year. This, however, may still change after the board meeting to be held this month.

“The 2016 number is tempered by the continuing weakness in the global economy and in China, one of our big export markets,” Lachica said.

Government officials and industry leaders expect the semiconductor and electronics industry to remain one of the key sectors that will enable merchandise exports to snap back to growth track this year.

While the Department of Trade and Industry has yet to release its official targets this year, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) earlier said it was hopeful the country would post $102 billion in total export revenue for 2016, covering both merchandise and services exports.

Other major growth drivers for the export sector this year are the “sustained, although moderate, growth in demand from the United States; traction from China’s stimulus package to revitalize its growth momentum; ramped up investment-driven exports from new and expanding projects coming on stream in 2016, and a more competitive exchange rate.”

The Export Marketing Bureau at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) earlier said it had expected total Philippine exports to post a slight decline to about $85 billion in 2015 from the $86.9 billion posted in the previous year, given the sluggish global demand. The expected export revenue last year was lower than the DTI goal earlier of $91 billion.

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