TAIPEI: At over 60 percent, Filipino workers comprise the majority of foreign workers in Taiwan’s electronics and technology industry, and many Taiwanese companies are shifting production from China to the Philippines.
During a recent symposium in the Philippines, Kristy Hsu, program director of the Chung-hua Institution for Economic Research’s (CIER’s) Taiwan ASEAN Studies Center, said that Filipinos are now the largest group of foreigners working for Taiwanese technology companies, reported The Philippine Star.
Hsu told the newspaper that out of the 122,000 Filipino workers employed in Taiwan, many have a “unique presence in computer and electronics [technology].” She said that Filipinos make up a sizable majority in the sector: “More than 60 percent of foreign workers in electronic parts [assembly] are from the Philippines. Filipino workers make up a major workforce in [Taiwan’s] large companies.”
Hsu said that despite the large number of Filipinos working in Taiwan, the country’s investment in the Philippines is rather low, compared to other Southeast Asian nations. Hsu said only three percent of Taiwan’s investments go to the Philippines, while one third goes to Vietnam because “Less democratic governments tend to be more efficient.”
She was upbeat, however, about the increased Taiwanese investment in the Philippines thanks to its new Southbound Policy launched in 2016. She said that the Philippines is now Taiwan’s fourth-largest trading partner when it comes to trade volume.
The newspaper cited the decision by Wistron (緯創) Corporation, one of Apple Inc.’s suppliers, to restart production at a facility in Subic, the Philippines as an example of new Taiwanese investment in the country. The report mentioned that seven of the company’s supply chain partners have since followed suit.
Taiwanese electronics conglomerate New Kinpo Group (新金寶集團) has also announced that it will set up its Southeast Asian hub in the Philippines. Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) chairman and resident representative Angelito Banayo told the newspaper that the company plans to expand its workforce in the country from 10,000 to 18,000 workers within the next two years.