SEIPI: Semiconductor industry projected to contract 9-10% this year vs 2022 amid global headwinds

Dec 13, 2023
During his live interview with ANC 24/7 on November 27, 2023, SEIPI President Dan Lachica gave the forecast for the 2023 and 2024 Philippine electronics growth. In late 2022, SEIPI predicted that the industry would grow 5% the following year. However, due to unforeseen challenges such as political and economic factors, compounded by inventory corrections, electronics exports will likely contract by 10%, or equivalent to USD 45 billion to USD 46 billion, by the end of the year. Electronics exports in Q1 contracted by 15% compared to the same period in 2023. Despite the geopolitical instability, this has improved in the following months as global demand has lifted. Should this trend continue along with the final stages of inventory corrections, the electronics industry will likely have a flat growth in 2024 from 2023.

These numbers could improve after President Ferdinand Marcos bagged USD 250 million worth of investment pledges for the electronics industry as a result of his recent trip to San Francisco for the APEC Summit. During the meeting with the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers, Inc. (SEMI), DTI Sec. Alfredo Pascual invited industry leaders to consider integrated circuit (IC) design and wafer fabrication in the Philippines.

The Philippine government is improving certain aspects of its policies, such as the incentives rationalization under the CREATE Act, challenges in doing business, and the high operating costs. However, the country also needs to explore more ways to attract investors. Some of the suggestions at the meeting with SIA and SEMI is for the country to engage with global consulting groups to update the electronics industry roadmap, and to establish its own CHIPS Act in order for the country to move up the value chain.

Watch the interview here:

PH inflation a key concern ¨C AMRO

Dec 5, 2023
THE impact of high inflation remains a key concern for the Philippine economy, but growth overall is expected to remain robust, the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) said on Monday.

In a statement, AMRO said the country would likely grow by 5.6 percent this year, down from the 5.9 percent previously forecast and below the government's target of 6.0 to 7.0 percent.

The outlook for next year was also trimmed to 6.3 percent from 6.5 percent, also below the official 6.5- to 8.0-percent goal for 2024-2028.

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Peza-approved investments rose more than twofold from Jan to Nov

Dec 5, 2023
MANILA  -The value of new investments approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) from January to November grew by more than twofold, reaching P140.884 billion in total as the investment promotion agency moves closer to its annual target.

Data from the Peza released Wednesday night showed it was only P13.82 billion away from its full-year 2023 target of P154.77 billion after recording a growth rate of146.95 percent for the 11-month period.

“With two more board meetings to go, we will surpass our targets for the year with flying colors,” Peza Director General Tereso Panga said during his presentation at the agency’s investors’ night in Pasay City.

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¡®Hidden costs, complex rules deter investments¡¯

Dec 5, 2023
Business leaders have called the attention of the national government to the “hidden cost” of doing business down to the community level.

Cezar Consing, Ayala Corp.’s CEO, said these costs affect businesses that have low margins, which could make certain communities less attractive to investors.

“What we find here is there are a lot of unwritten [and] hidden costs to doing business. More recently, I see them more at the local level. And if you’re a firm that is trying to do business nationwide, it’s those costs that that are so hard to quantify,” Consing said during a panel of the Pilipinas Conference 2023, a forum facilitated by think tank Stratbase.

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Smartphone market returns to growth

Nov 30, 2023
Over the last eight quarters shipments have been:

The smartphone market turned up in October, says Counterpoint Research which is the first month it has grown y-o-y for two years. For Q3, Counterpoint is forecasting the first growth quarter for eight quarters.

October shipments grew 5% y-o-y which is the first month in 27 consecutive months since June 2021 to show y-o-y growth.

2021 Q4 371.4
2022: Q1 326.4 Q2 294.5 Q3 301.9 Q4 303.9
2023:  Q1 280.2 Q2 268 with a forecast for Q3 of 299.8

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onsemi Opens EV Systems Application Lab in Europe

Nov 30, 2023
onsemi has opened an application test lab in Piestany, Slovakia, focused on the advancement of system solutions for battery/plug-in hybrid/electric vehicles (xEVs) and energy infrastructure (EI) power conversion systems. The state-of-the-art systems applications lab provides specialized equipment to develop and test next-generation silicon (Si) and silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor solutions in collaboration with automotive OEMs, Tier 1s and EI providers.

The new facility consists of two high-voltage power labs that focus on systems and device level development as well as evaluation of SiC/Si traction inverters and ACDC/DCDC power converters. Laser welding facilities, mechanical clean rooms and workshops further enable fast prototyping and testing of next-generation system solutions.

The new lab will play a central role in ensuring that the development of future power products results in highly differentiated, value-add solutions tailored to customers’ specific requirements. Evaluation capabilities for the next-generation system solutions include continuous 24/7 testing; internally developed and patented software and hardware solutions to support high-voltage power cycling via space vector modulation (SVM) and sinusoidal pulse width modulation (SPWM); high-accuracy logging devices for assessing SiC and Si health and reliability; simulation of the harsh conditions faced by inverters during operation, testing liquid-cooled devices at temperatures as low as -50°C and up to 220°C; and wider range of industry-recognized software allows for the programing of FPGAs and ARM microcontrollers on site, as well as qualification testing, data analysis and 3D modeling.

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AI reporting solutions expected to improve trade operations

Nov 22, 2023
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is optimistic about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) reporting solutions to improve operational efficiency in trade and ease of doing business in the Philippines.

“Palantir is a promising tool for the Philippines as we leverage cutting-edge technology for operational efficiency in our cross-border trade, ease-of-doing business, and trade facilitation,” DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a statement.

On the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Week 2023, Mr. Pascual and President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. met with the executives of US software company Palantir Technologies, Inc. to discuss intelligent reporting solutions.

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ECCP wants longer validity for import clearances

Nov 22, 2023
THE European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) proposed that the Philippines extend the validity of import clearances, which it said will provide relief to its members shipping in goods.

ECCP Vice-President Helen Grace Baisa said that as importers, European businesses are required to obtain clearances from the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

“You have to renew (some of them) on an annual basis,” Ms. Baisa said. “But in the last couple of months, we requested that the BoC simplify that or perhaps to make the validity longer, because it’s difficult.”

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PH semiconductor and electronics sector will continue to be a major driver of the country¡¯s economy

Nov 10, 2023
PH semiconductor and electronics sector will continue to be a major driver of the country’s economy — SEIPI 

THE Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI) said the country’s semiconductor and electronics sector will continue to be a significant driver of the Philippine economy and the largest contributor to the country’s manufacturing sector, an industry with an employee base of over 3 million direct and indirect workers.
Last year, the total Philippine electronics exports grew by 6.88 percent and reached an all-time high of US$ 45.09 billion. This export performance is 13-percent higher than the pre-pandemic exports of US$43.3 billion as of August 2023, with the cumulative electronics exports reaching US$29.35 billion. This was 61.40 percent of the US$47.81 billion total Philippine commodity exports, which makes the industry a consistent top commodity exporter for the country.
This news came amid the successful holding of the 18th Philippine Semiconductor and Electronics Convention and Exhibition (PSECE 2023), which welcomed around 10,000 guests at the World Trade Center Manila.

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ACEN makes available $25 million facility for micro grids

Nov 10, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — ACEN Corp., through subsidiary ACEN Renewables International Pte. Ltd. (ACRI), has made available a $25 million facility to fund micro grid projects for telecommunications towers.
ACEN, in a stock exchange filing, said its executive committee authorized the company and ACRI to enter into an agreement with Yoma Strategic Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiary, Yoma Strategic Investments Ltd. (YSIL), to restructure the latter’s outstanding loan with ACRI.
Under the restructure agreement, ACEN said YSIL would purchase the loan from ACRI, payable within a 10-year period, with a Yoma parent guarantee.

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DTI-EMB generates $970 million potential sale

Nov 9, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The Export Marketing Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-EMB) has generated around $970 million worth of booked and potential export sales from its participation in trade promotion events in the first nine months of 2023.


Government data showed that the DTI-EMB participated or led 36 trade promotion events from January to September this year.


Additional figures from the DTI showed it generated around $92 million from recent trade promotion initiatives, particularly participation in trade shows abroad in July to September.

This includes participation in the international trade events such as the Gamescom in Germany where the country generated $7 million in booked and potential export sales; External Development Summit (XDS) in Canada ($46 million); Anuga in Germany ($10 million); Malaysia International Halal Showcase ($3 million; and the Natural Product Expo East (NPEE) in the United States of America ($26.08 million).


Apart from international events, the DTI-EMB said booked and potential export sales were also generated from local trade events such as the World Coconut Congress (P6 million); Philippine Die & Mold Machineries & Equipment Exhibition (P3 million); Philippine Semiconductor & Electronics Convention and Exhibition ($1.1 million); Manila Fame ($3.7 million for Coconut Philippines only); and the Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibition (P17 million)

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Senate OKs bill creating econ strategy to level up Philippine exports

Nov 9, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday unanimously passed the “Tatak Pinoy (Proudly Filipino)” bill — a measure that creates a national economic plan to boost local industries and diversify the local products that can be exported abroad.


During its final reading, Senate Bill (SB) 2426 received 23 affirmative votes and no negative votes or abstentions.


The proposed “Tatak Pinoy” measure creates a ''Tatak Pinoy'' council and strategy to establish metrics on how government agencies can prioritize local products and make them more globally competitive.


“Tatak Pinoy started as an idea on how to make the Philippine economy stronger by empowering businesses and industries to produce better, more unique and sophisticated goods and services,” read a press release by the bill’s sponsor, Finance Committee Chairperson Sen. Sonny Angara.

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Digital economy lags in PHL despite heavy internet use

Nov 9, 2023
Digital economy lags in PHL despite heavy internet use
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THE evolution of the digital economy lags in the Philippines, even though its citizens lead the world in terms of internet use, an official said at a briefing.


“What the study says is that while the internet users in the Philippines are amongst the most engaged in the world, our digital participation remains low compared to others,” according to Mary Jean T. Pacheco, assistant secretary of Digital Philippines and officer-in-charge of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Consumer Protection Group.


A study conducted by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co. found that digital participation in the Philippines remains low even with internet users who are among the world’s most engaged.


It concluded however that low digital participation “signals sizable headroom for digital economic growth over the medium to long term as incomes grow.”

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Good day! Here¡¯s the news for today.

Sep 29, 2023
AboitizPower, Vivant, Vena Energy to Construct Samar Wind Project
Aboitiz Power Corp. has partnered with Vena Energy and Vivant Energy Corp. in putting a 206-megawatt (MW) wind power project in Visayas.

The joint venture will be called Lihangin Wind Energy Corp. The three companies signed an agreement to construct and operate the San Isidro Wind Power Project in San Isidro, Northern Samar.

In a report by Philippine Star, Aboitiz Power said that the wind project is looking to reach its financial close and begin construction by the fourth quarter.

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Marcos signs ‘Trabaho’ Act into law to craft job generation masterplan
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday signed into law Republic Act No. 11962 or the “Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act” into law to address unemployment, underemployment, and other challenges in the country’s labor sector.

“I am very pleased to stand before you today at this ceremonial signing of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act, a significant milestone towards the sustainable and inclusive development of our country,” the President said.

“The law will help us solve the various challenges plaguing our labor sector such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, and underemployment among others,” he added.

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PH economy seen growing by 5.5% in 2023
MANILA – The Philippine economy is projected to grow by 5.5 percent this year, driven by the growth in government spending, a report released by the First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC) and the University of the Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) said.

In the September issue of The Market Call released on Wednesday, FMIC and UA&P said Philippine economic growth in the third quarter of the year will likely reach 5.0 to 5.2 percent.

For the fourth quarter of this year, FMIC and UA&P project the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 6 percent.

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Li-Ion Battery Improvements to Drive a 6x Increase in Global EV Battery Output by 2030
With aggressive government decarbonization targets and OEM electrification strategies, electric vehicle (EV) production will majorly increase this decade. This will require a corresponding growth in EV battery output. New research from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research finds that global EV battery output production will increase nearly six times to 2,585GWh by 2030.

“Battery cost and production volume are the key barriers to adoption for EVs. The most important technologies are, therefore, those that make batteries cheaper or easier to manufacture at scale. Revolutionary technologies such as solid-state batteries promise improved ranges and reduced charging times, generating much media attention, but are too expensive and difficult to manufacture. Battery developments this decade will focus on evolutionary improvements on current lithium-ion batteries,” said Dylan Khoo, Electric Vehicles Industry Analyst at ABI Research.

The most advanced lithium-ion batteries currently available can achieve 1,000 km of range or charge in under 20 minutes. Further improvements will be made through technologies like the fully silicon anodes developed by companies such as Sila, expected to be delivered as soon as 2025. Solid-state batteries are unlikely to significantly impact this decade because their adoption would require changes in cell design and manufacturing, unlike improvements on existing lithium-ion battery technology.

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BOI-approved investments hit P720 billion

Sep 11, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — Investments approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) continued to rise, reaching P720 billion as of August or almost close to last year’s approval of P729 billion.

“We see now a recent positive BOI investment approval performance,” BOI governor Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego said in a forum organized by the Center for International Private Enterprise.

“The approved investment level as of August is actually equivalent to 72 percent of our original P1-trillion investment target,” she said.

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PEZA to exceed goal; reforms on charter pushed

Sep 11, 2023
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) expects to exceed the 10-percent investment target set for the year as  growth continues to pick up.

But Tereso Panga, director-general of PEZA, cites the need to introduce amendments not just to the incentives law but the PEZA charter as well to become more competitive.

Panga said there are key reforms that have to be introduced to the 28-year old PEZA law including the removal of a presidential requirement for ecozones, reinforcement of separate customs territory and exclusive jurisdiction over ecozones, and introduction of new types of ecozones.

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ACEN set to triple investments in Australia¡¯s energy transition

Sep 11, 2023
ACEN Corp. is on track in its renewable energy expansion in Australia and is poised to triple its investments in the country’s energy transition, the Ayala-led company’s top official said.
“ACEN fully supports Australia’s energy transition, and the company is gearing up to triple its Australia investments in the next three years,” ACEN President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said in an e-mailed media release on Sunday.
Mr. Francia made the statement as President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed a strategic partnership agreement on Friday to boost the two countries’ bilateral ties.
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Globe says non-telco revenues to rise in three years

Sep 11, 2023
Good day! Here’s the news for today.

GLOBE Telecom, Inc. anticipates its non-telecommunications revenues to grow in the next three years mainly driven by its diversification strategies, its top official said.

“The non-telco earnings will grow. They could either be consolidated into our P and L (profit and loss statement) or they could be in a sharing equity earnings of a subsidiary if we become a significant minority investor,” Ernest L. Cu, president and chief executive officer of Globe, said in a media release on Sunday.

The listed telecommunications company said its non-telco revenues will fuel its overall revenues.

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Meralco expands RE portfolio, deploys more EV

Sep 1, 2023
Good day! Here’s the news for today.

Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO) continues pursuing its long-term initiatives toward sustainability as it expands its renewable energy portfolio to 1,880 megawatts (MW) of RE capacity compared to its initial target of 1,500  MW.

This decisive action is part of compliance and supports the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) policy that aims to increase the RE portion in the country’s energy mix to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040 by mandating electricity suppliers to source a portion of their RE requirements at +2.52% per annum.

The portfolio allows MERALCO to reduce its total carbon emissions by 15% vis-a-vis its projected baseline 2030 emissions.

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U.S. economy entered recession in February

Jun 25, 2020
The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research said in a statement its members “concluded that the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions.”
The designation was expected, but notable for its speed, coming a mere four months after the recession began. The committee has typically waited longer before making a recession call in order to be sure. When the economy started declining in late 2007, for example, the group did not pinpoint the start of the recession until a year later.
U.S. gross domestic product fell at a 4.8% annualized rate in the first three months of the year. The outcome for the April to June period is expected to show an even worse annualized decline of perhaps 20% or more. The unemployment rate rose from a record low of 3.5% in February, hitting 14.7% in April and 13.3% last month.
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