Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, June 27, 2005

Taiwan firm investing P738M in Subic

AN ELECTRONICS giant headquartered in Taiwan is investing P738 million to assemble personal digital assistants at the Subic Bay Industrial Park, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

Wistron Infocomm (Philippines) Corp., the local unit of Wistron Corp., is currently engaged in the manufacture of motherboards and laptop computer units and is the biggest export earner in Subic.

Wistron also makes computer peripherals, fax machines, integrated circuits, and microelectronic parts and software for various computer brands like Acer, IBM and Hitachi.

In 2004, Wistron posted revenues of $747 million or about two-thirds of the total export earnings within the Subic freeport.

The DTI said that for the new project, Wistron would hire 195 additional workers.

The output, which are used as electronic organizers or day planners, would be distributed in Europe, the United States and Asia.

Trade Secretary Juan B. Santos said the Board of Investments had approved tax perks and other incentives for Wistron's project since it would be the first project in the manufacture of PDAs.

Santos said the company's decision indicated the confidence of Taiwanese businessmen in putting up big-ticket projects in the country and making it their manufacturing base for sophisticated products.

The move also meant investors "place[d] a deep trust in the capability of Filipino workers in producing high-end consumer electronic products for the export market."

PDAs, also called handhelds, have become popular because of their small size, ease in using and capability to share information with personal computers.

Aside from managing personal information such as contacts, appointments and to-do lists, the latest models of the gadget can connect to the Internet, act as global positioning system (GPS) devices and run multimedia software. Some manufacturers have combined PDAs with cell phones, multimedia players and other functions of electronic gadgetry.

According to the DTI, Wistron has the capability of embedding many of the these features and functions into its products.


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