Electronics exports forecast to grow 9%
A local trade group is projecting this year’s electronic exports to grow by nearly 9 percent, slightly lower than last year’s target, with continued demand in the global market seen still driving the expansion, albeit at a slower pace.
Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. president Danilo Lachica told this to reporters last week.
“We are hoping we reach $50 billion [worth of exports] by the end of the year,” said the official, referring to the commodity group, which accounts for more than 60 percent of Philippine exports.Electronics accounted for 64.3 percent of the total exports in November of last year, reaching $4.57 billion during that month alone.
In 2021, the Philippines’ electronics exports reached $45.92 billion, accounting for 61.52 percent of annual commodity exports.
Lachica cited the resilience of the electronics export industry in the face of the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic nearly three years ago, and the myriad of problems that the health crisis brought to industries during its peak.
“Except for two months, we were able to resume operations thanks to the government and working with the industry, the private sector,” the SEIPI official said, but added that the country still needed to develop its capacity to process minerals -such as nickel, copper and cobalt- which are the raw materials used by the electronics industry.
Lachica cited two specific challenges to the domestic electronics sector this year, highlighting, first, the difficulties posed by the Philippine government’s policy on work-from-home for firms registered under its incentives system.
“Unfortunately, maybe I was naive to think that they will also extend (the policy) to exporters. It’s just very disappointing that they did not include us,” Lachica said, referring to the order from the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to allow registered BPO firms to retain their tax perks while a portion of their employees are working from home.
“They have this wrong idea that because we are into manufacturing, no one works from home and that everyone is at the production line, which is really not true,” the SEIPI official added.
Lachica also reiterated their concern about the imposition last year of the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) electronic tracking system, which he previously said entailed additional cost of P5 million to as much as P20 million a month for them.
Back in October last year, the SEIPI official said the BOC’s E-TRACC (Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargo) system was unnecessary for their industry, stressing that there have been no incidents of technical smuggling in electronics for the past 30 years.
He also said local electronics exporters already have logistics trackers using GPS (global positioning system), making it unnecessary for them to be included in the government agency’s mandatory tracking system. INQ
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