26 June 2012

DTI Woos Taiwanese Electronics Firms, Formulates 5-Year Timetable Roadmap

MANILA -- The Department of Trade and Industry is crafting a five-year “Taiwan Roadmap” to attract electronics companies to relocate here as computer-maker Wistron Infocomm has substantially slowed down its manufacturing operation in Subic.

Trade and Industry for Trade and Investment Promotions Group Cristino L. Panlilio said that roadmap should highlight the Philippines’ competitiveness as a manufacturing location “We should be able to capture other electronics firms in Taiwan because of the rising cost in China,” Panlilio said adding the roadmap has a five-year timetable to bring in other Taiwanese firms.

Panlilio noted that Wistron, which used to manufacture most of its electronics products in Subic, has substantially reduced its operations as it relocated the bulk of its production in China because of competitiveness issues and the supply chain problem in the Philippines.

“Wistron is producing laptops only in Subic,” Panlilio said. It has reduced operations since the past three to four years.

Wistron Infocomm Philippines was the largest exporter in 2007 with freight on board (FOB) value of $448.7 million out of $971.7 million total Subic exports that year. In 2011, Wistron’s exports substantially declined to only $75.3 million.

But, Panlilio pointed out that the situation has reversed as cost in China has gone up substantially and some manufacturers like Taiwanese businesses are looking elsewhere. The Philippines is deemed gaining back its competitiveness as a manufacturing hub.

Panlilio said that Taiwanese could put up another economic zone although it has already an existing ecozone in Subic.

“Subic is always prepared to accommodate them,” he said.

In fact, he said, the 100 businessmen who joined in the one-day trade mission and business matching event yesterday at Dusit Hotel in Makati are going to visit Subic.(Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat, Manila Bulletin)