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Electronics industry sees IOT as big driver to hit $50-billion export target.

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippines electronics industry is looking at IOT (internet of things) as its biggest hope to help achieve the $50- billion exports target by 2030 or exceed it to $65 billion if the 6 percent annual growth rate is maintained.

This developed as the Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Angers French Tech (AFT) to set up a French Pavilion in the 16th Philippine Semiconductors & Electronics Convention and Exhibition in 2019.

The MOU with AFT is one of the strategies of SEIPI to capture a bigger share in the IOT since France is the Philippines fastest growing exports market among the country's trading partners.

AFT is the local thematic entity of the national French Tech initiative, which is a government program for French start-ups including investors, entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers, developers, corporations, associations, government agencies and research institutes - encompassing all industries but advocating digital technology.

Angers is France's electronics city and in close proximity to the manufacturing hubs of Europe's industrial firms, including aviation giant Airbus. The city of Angers is now the meeting place for connecting the creativity of start-ups with the electronics manufacturing.

"The IOT is the direction," said SEIPI President Dan Lachica said referring to the actual benefits from the MOU for mutual promotion and cooperation in the electronics industry. Lachica said that while they target $50-billion exports by 2030, this can be exceeded to $65 billion if the annual growth will remain steady at 6 percent.

Lachica said the Philippine industry has the capability and can create synergies with what the AFT has.

Since it is so expensive to put a design services center in the country, the Philippines can take advantage of the partnership with AFT to export via the Cloud.

Lachica cited AFT's capability and reach that the local industry can tap to promote IOT.

"Rather than reinventing the wheel, France has advanced technologies, R & D, IOT and micro-electronics and wafer fabrication," he said. Angers, France's electronics city, is home to some 800 electronics firms. SEIPI will also have an office at AFT as a result of the MOU.

For instance, he said, one of the tangible effects would be upgrading of skills like collaborating with Marikina shoe manufacturers for the development of smart shoes and portable dialysis machines.

Trade and Industry Secretary Senen Perlada, director of the Export Marketing Bureau, said they are putting more attention in France, which posted the fastest exports growth of 26.7 percent in the past five years among the country's trading partners.

Perlada said the Philippines exported a total value of $791 million. Of this figure, $320 million were accounted for by digital products led by aircraft/aviation parts exports of $176 million.

Growth in exports to France and the entire EU has been largely driven by the country's EU-GSP Plus status which covers 6,274 products, of which 2,442 are subject to zero duty and 3,767 have reduced tariffs.

Germany and Netherlands are the country's biggest export destination in EU but Perlada said France can overtake these two following a strong promotion conducted by the DTI there in food and furniture sectors.

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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jun 11, 2018
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