Japan’s Sumitomo investing P3b

First Sumiden Circuits Inc., a unit of Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., is investing P3 billion in Laguna province to manufacture and export printed circuits boards, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority said over the weekend.

Peza said the board already approved the company’s application for tax incentives.

“Sumiden’s investment is one of the bigger expansion projects we have approved lately. Most of the projects approved by the Peza board are more of the expansion type of projects,” Peza director general Lilia De Lima said.

PCB, which consists of a board base to support and wire the surface-mounted and socketed components in most electronics, is a $60-billion industry, globally.

First Sumiden, a wholly-owned unit of Sumitomo Electric Industries Inc., is the Philippines’ first manufacturer and exporter of flexible printed circuits and established flip-chip and surface mounting on FPC in 1996.

The company employs 2,042 workers and has annual exports of $118 million.

It is currently on expansion mode and announce job vacancies for dozens of engineers.

First Sumiden is expanding its facility at the Light Industry & Science Park in Cabuyao, Laguna to accommodate the new electronics manufacturing line.

First Sumiden is an integrated management system certified company and a recipient of various awards such as the 2009 Glorious Excellent Company in the Sumitomo Electric Group and Philippine Quality Award (Proficiency In Quality Management in 2004, Mastery in Quality Management in 2006).

Global demand for electronics have picked up recently.  Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show that the country’s electronic exports rose 9 percent to $16.3 billion in the first seven months from $14.9 billion a year ago.

Electronics shipments, accounting for two-fifths of total exports, jumped 34.6 percent in July to $2.818 billion from $2.093 billion registered in July 2014. 

Semiconductors alone grew 55 percent to $2.247 billion in July 2015 from $1.450 billion in July 2014.

The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, however, predicted a slower growth, as demand from major trading partners such as China remained sluggish.

SEIPI recently reduced its 2015 growth target to a range of 0 percent to 7 percent,  from the initial estimate of 5 percent to 7 percent.

SEIPI president Dan Lachica said the soft demand in China, the United States and Japan could affect Philippine electronics exports.

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