RP electronics industry starting to recover

Published by rudy Date posted on April 13, 2009

MANILA, Philippines—After a bad first quarter, the electronics industry seems to be showing signs of recovery, although at a very slow pace, according to an industry executive.

Arthur Young, chair of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (Seipi), said there were indications that the market has hit its lowest and that things should get better for the rest of the year.

“There are no final first-quarter numbers yet, but it looks like from March onwards, we are seeing month-to-month improvements,” he said. “It’s still far from where we used to be, but at least it looks like the market has bottomed out and things are improving, although slowly, but improving nevertheless.”

Despite this, he said Seipi was keeping its 2009 forecast of a decline of 20-30 percent in semiconductor exports.

“On the decline, it’s still too early to say if there will be any changes to that range,” he said.

In an earlier interview, Seipi president Ernesto Santiago said this year would be the first time the industry would experience a double-digit decline.

“We don’t know yet how to handle it. It’s the first time we’re encountering a double-digit drop,” he said. “But we must continue to do the right thing to prepare for our future success. All is not doom and gloom.”

Young had earlier said the electronics industry was not expected to really bounce back until 2011, but minimal growth should already be felt by next year.

He said 2010 would be “a growth year” for the industry as exports start to recover from the 2009 slump.

“We expect high single-digit growth in 2010, but we won’t see good strong recovery until 2011. By then, the credit issue should have been fixed, so we expect double-digit growth that year,” he said.

This year, he said the industry would be suffering from “zero visibility,” with none of the players knowing how sales would turn out for the rest of the year.

He said the first quarter would be the worst for the industry.–Abigail L. Ho, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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