The Philippines concluded its hosting of the ASEAN Dialogue with Asian Electronics Forum Partners today (June 20, 2017) at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, bringing together key experts and movers from ASEAN Member States (AMS) in the electronics and semiconductor industry to share industry updates and initiatives in their respective electronics sectors, learn from each other, and foster greater collaboration in the region.

The Dialogue is one of the official events hosted by the Philippines in line with its chairmanship of ASEAN2017. The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) organized the event in joint coordination with the Semiconductor and Electronics Association of the Philippines (SEIPI).

With the theme: “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”, the Philippine chairmanship highlights ASEAN as a model of regionalism and a global player, with the interest of the people at its core. The theme focuses on six thematic priorities, which encompass political, economic and sociocultural aspects.

“Consistent with the theme of the Philippine chairmanship of various ASEAN2017 meetings, the Dialogue between ASEAN and Asia Electronics Forum is a significant venue for the ASEAN Member States to learn from the Asia Electronics Forum partners and discuss the challenges besetting the industry on regional and global perspective particularly technology and innovation, the so-called Internet of Things, and industrial revolution,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI Governor Nora Terrado during the keynote speech she delivered on behalf of Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez.

Undersecretary Terrado highlighted the critical role of the electronics industry in redefining technology, innovation, and industrial revolution, noting that the sector is at the core of such development. “While the extent to which the electronics industry contributes to our respective economies largely vary, there is no doubt that the sector is an important pillar in economic growth,” she said, adding that the electronics sector is at the core of transforming communities to make everything easier.

In the Dialogue, key speakers from selected AMS and Asian countries shared industry updates and initiatives in their respective electronics sectors.

PH ASEAN Electronic Dialogue
The key speakers and participants from selected AMS who shared industry updates and initiatives in their respective electronics sectors, namely (from left to right): BOI Director for Manufacturing Industries Service Evariste Cagatan; George Choo, Chief Representative of Supporting Electronics Technology & Industry Organization (Singapore); Wang Ning, President of China Electronics Chamber of Commerce (China); Dr. Dan Lachica, President of SEIPI (Philippines); BOI Executive Director for Industry Development Services Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa; Xu Hui Ying, Secretary General of the Shenzhen Electronic Chamber of Commerce (China); Toshiharu Kiyomoto, Vice President for International Affairs of the Communications and Information Network Association of Japan (Japan); Dennis Chew, Regional Director of the IEC Asia-Pacific Region Center (Singapore); Luu Huang Long, Chairman of Vietnam Electronics Industries Association (Vietnam); and Roger Liao, Director of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (Taiwan).

BOI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa meanwhile highlighted at the conclusion of the Dialogue of the greater realization that there lies a huge task for all governments and industry players who wish to be part of a redefining industrial revolution.

“As with any societal change, Industry 4.0 springs an abundance of opportunities. This brings industries and economies not only the opportunity to catch up and grow, but also the opportunity to leap. This new phase of industrial revolution will decouple growth with resource constraints. Industries’ survival and growth will less likely depend on how little or how much it has but on how its output will impact the way we work, live and relate to each other. Thriving in the midst of this industrial revolution will not be solely defined by satisfying customer experiences. Success will be shaped by the ability of industries to transform processes that are responsive to customer needs and experience, and bring together convenience, efficiency, quality and sustainability,” Executive Director Dichosa said at the concluding session of the Dialogue.

In ending, Executive Director Dichosa called on the participants for further collaboration, encouraging them to prepare for the upcoming ASEAN Electronics Forum in September of this year where current regional and global issues in the electronics industry will be further discussed and agree on action plans to chart the growth of the industry. “It is really important that we, as a region, regularly meet to discuss matters besetting the electronics industry, and for us to be able to further develop and improve the capability of our industry,” she said.

The AEF is an annual event convened by the Philippines, through the BOI from 2003 to 2011. Participated by government and private sector stakeholders of the ASEAN Electronics Industries, the forum originally aimed to devise a regional action plan to enhance and accelerate the integration of the sector in ASEAN as a single production and market base in doing business in electronics. The reconvening of the AEF in September aims to re-establish the linkages among the government and business partners in the ASEAN electronics sector and engage them once again to discuss global and regional issues and matters that beset the regional electronics industry.

The electronics sector accounts for 20 to 50 percent of the total value of exports in most countries in Asia. In 2015, electrical equipment, electronics and parts accounted for 25.1 percent of the total ASEAN exports. High quantities of the world’s consumer electronics like television, radios, computers, and cellular phones come from the ASEAN region. More than 80 percent of the world’s hard drives are made in ASEAN.

The Philippines’ key products are hard drives and semiconductor. The Philippines supplies the world with 2.5 million hard drives per month and captures the 10 percent of the semiconductor manufacturing services global supply. Seven out of the world’s top twenty chipmakers are in the Philippines these are Texas Instruments, Philips, Fairchild, Analog Devices, Sanyo, On Semi an Rhom.

The electronics industry is considered as one of the pillars of industrial growth in the Philippines. It is the top export performer with a 51.3 percent share in the total Philippine exports in 2016 (January to December) or around USD 28.8 Billion. Electronics contributes 17.67 percent to total Manufacturing Gross Value Added, making it the second largest manufacturing sector in terms of gross value added in manufacturing. Electronics has generated about 2.8 Million direct and indirect employment as of 2015.