Foreign tech investments offer bright spark in Philippines

While relatively modest, the investments indicate these foreign companies, which include Japan's SMK Electronics and U.K.'s Sophos, are still optimistic about the Philippine market.
Written by Joel D. Pinaroc, Contributor

Two foreign technology companies have expanded their operations in the Philippines, giving the country some positive news amid difficult times. While the investments may seem relatively modest, they are indications that foreign market players are still optimistic about the prospects of investing in the Philippines.

Philippine tech

First up is Japanese company SMK Electronics, which recently announced it was pouring in US$20 million (940 million pesos) to expand its operations inside the Clark Freeport. The site is one of the business hubs outside Metro Manila housing many technology companies.

SMK Electronics reportedly leased a substantial amount of land in the Freeport as part of efforts to double its production output. The Japanese company manufactures a slew of electric components, including parts for Wi-Fi receivers, automated teller machines, mobile phones, car navigation systems, touch panels, and other consumer electronics products, which are exported to other countries. 

Meanwhile, UK-based IT security vendor, Sophos, announced it opened a global hub in Makati City to support its existing global network of technical support centers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. The Makati center will initially be manned by 70 Filipino engineers and support staff, with the majority focusing on the Asia-Pacific region, Sophos said.

The investments, no matter how modest, seem to affirm the Philippines is still a good investment spot. This trend is also aligned with the assessment of credit ratings agencies that deem the country a viable location for business. Some may scoff at the credit ratings' findings--which assess robust economic performance, fiscal and debt consolidation, and political stability, among others--but the positive outlook can still help the Philippines attract investors.

While the country is still reeling from natural disasters and political squabbling, the positive news is a welcome respite the country badly needs.

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