$70-million investment rests on tax reform outcome: Japan's Ibiden

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 01 2018 01:02 PM | Updated as of Jun 01 2018 10:52 PM

MANILA - Japanese electronic parts maker Ibiden said Friday it might "reconsider" up to $70 million in fresh investments in the Philippines, should their tax incentives be removed under the second wave of reforms.

The Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (SEIPI), the largest organization of foreign and Filipino electronics companies in the Philippines, is also closely watching US President Donald Trump's trade policies, which could "prevent" the sector from reaching its 6-percent growth goal this year, said Ibiden Philippines president and CEO Ken Koba.

Koba is board trustee at SEIPI.

The US is the biggest market for electronics exports from the Philippines.

Nevertheless, Ibiden plans to hire 200 more Filipino engineers at its Sto. Tomas, Batangas plant to add to the company's current workforce of 2,200, Koba said.

"We are currently planning to invest $60 million to $70 million for the coming 3 years. Our hopes, however, if TRAIN (is) implemented and the tax incentives removed we may reconsider the investment," Koba said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.

Koba was referring to the second tranche of tax reforms, wherein the government plans to revisit incentives for companies.

Ibiden Philippines president Ken Koba speaks to Cathy Yang for ANC's The Boss

The first package, which took effect this year, raised duties on fuel, cars and sugar sweetened drinks to help offset a reduction in personal income tax rates and help fund a P8-trillion infrastructure program.

Ibiden grew its business by 10 percent in 2017 and hopes for a "more than 10 percent increase" this year, Koba said.

The shift to artificial intelligence and the establishment of data centers are the new drivers of growth, he said.

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