MANILA Dec 19 The Philippines' electronics
exports will likely increase 5-6 percent next year, supported by
robust demand for gadgets and internet-connected equipment, a
group representing the country's key semiconductor industry said
For 2016, the Semiconductor and Electronic Industries in the
Philippines Inc (SEIPI) has forecast an increase of 6 percent.
Danilo Lachica, SEIPI president, said 2017's "modest"
anticipated gains will be driven by components, electronic data
processing, telecommunications, automotive sectors, cyber
security, self-driving cars and the general trend toward a
Electronics are the Philippines' top export item, and in
October accounted for 52 percent of export revenue, according to
the Philippine Statistics Agency. So the relatively firm outlook
for 2017 bodes well for overall economic growth.
But President Rodrigo Duterte's comments about cutting ties
with Washington posed some risks, Lachica said. He said 12
percent of the industry's exports go to the United States.
While the industry supports Duterte's move to expand
commercial ties with other countries, Lachica said "it should
not be at the expense of cutting ties with the U.S."
On Friday, Duterte told the U.S. "we do not need you", and
that it should "prepare to leave" the Philippines.
SEIPI, comprising 270 semiconductors and electronics
manufacturers including units of Toshiba and Texas
Instruments employing more than two million workers,
wants to grow its business with the U.S., Lachica said.
The Philippine central bank expects total exports to
contract 3 percent this year, due to sluggish global demand, but
expand 2 percent next year.
(Reporting by Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by