Electronics exports growth in 2019 exceeded SEIPI target

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ELECTRONICS exports jumped by 4% in 2019, exceeding the industry’s full-year growth target of 0-3% and reaching a new record, according to the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI).

In a report, SEIPI said electronics exports stood at $43.32 billion in 2019, making up 61.6% of the country’s total commodity exports.

SEIPI President Danilo C. Lachica said in a mobile phone message on Tuesday this is the industry’s third straight year of record growth.

“The hardware demand for emerging and new technologies drove up the (overall) demand,” he said.

Emerging technologies that have boosted demand include 5G, wearables, Internet of Things, collaborative robots, augmented reality, and virtual reality.

Mr. Lachica said the semiconductor market is also recovering, after flat to negative growth last year due to a decline in smartphone parts.

SEIPI had set a conservative 0-3% growth target for 2019, citing the decline in smartphone demand and a possible escalation of the trade war.

But Mr. Lachica on Tuesday said the trade war had minimal impact on the industry.

The US and China in October 2019 announced the first phase of a trade deal, which was signed in January. The deal cut US tariffs on Chinese exports in exchange for China’s pledges to buy more American farm, energy, and manufacturing products.

SEIPI set a 5% growth target for 2020, which Mr. Lachica said could be downwardly revised due to supply issues after the COVID-19 outbreak caused preventative factory shutdowns in China. — Jenina P. Ibañez