Taiwanese computer giant returns to Subic
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Taiwanese computer giant Wistron Infocomm Corp. will reopen its manufacturing plant here after closing shop almost a decade ago, officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said.
Formerly one of the biggest export firms inside this free port, Wistron started recruiting to fill up 2,500 positions at its Subic facility.
Wistron’s return to Subic is a direct result of the emerging trade war between the super-economies of the United States and China, said SBMA Chair and Administrator Wilma Eisma on Thursday (Dec. 6)
“When other countries lose their initial advantages in terms of cheap labor or distribution cost, companies opt for Subic,” she said.
Eisma said SBMA expects more global companies affected by the trade war to consider moving to Subic or other economic zones in the country.
SBMA Labor Department manager Severo Pastor said Wistron processed more than 4,000 applications during the two-day schedule of exams and job interviews last week, with 900 workers passing the qualifying stage in the first day alone.
“They wanted HOTS—hired on the spot, so Taiwanese personnel from the company personally conducted the interviews. The SBMA labor personnel simply assisted in the second day to help process the growing number of applications,” Pastor said.
Wistron started out in 1995 as Acer Information Products (Philippines) Inc., a computer manufacturing outfit of Acer Inc.
It became Wistron in 2006 when Acer Inc. spun off its Subic operations and infused fresh capitalization of about $36 million to include a Mobile Operations Unit.
In 2008, Wistron contributed more than a fourth of Subic’s $977.84 million export total with an export production of $274.88 million, leading the top 10 Subic exporters. That was when Korean shipbuilder Hanjin, now the biggest exporter, was just a fledgling operation with $61.74 million worth of exports, SBMA says.
In 2010, however, Wistron closed its hand-held device plant in Subic, shifting all of its production here to a facility in Zhongshan, China, but leaving behind its design automation center.
The move displaced about 700 workers, some 200 of whom were reportedly sent off to a Wistron plant in the border-town facility of Juarez, Mexico.
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