Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ayala electronics firm eyes expansion in Vietnam

By Lawrence CasirayaINQUIRER.netFirst Posted 12:52:00 02/25/2008
MANILA, Philippines--Integrated Microelectronic Inc. (IMI) has said it is planning to set up operations in Vietnam. IMI, the electronics manufacturing subsidiary of the Ayala Group, already has manufacturing operations in four locations in China and also in Singapore. Locally, it has five facilities located in Laguna, Cavite and Cebu. The company provides design and manufacturing services for Japanese electronics firms like Panasonic and Toshiba. "It is always an open opportunity. Hopefully, this year," said Emmanuel Barcelon, IMI senior managing director for manufacturing and custom business operations, when asked about Vietnam expansion plans in an interview.Vietnam has become a hotbed for investments in the high-tech industry, attracting the likes of chipmaker Intel."The challenge for us is to continue being competitive through cost," Barcelon said.However, he acknowledged that Vietnam still needs to work on certain aspects such as English language fluency and a bureaucratic government.In the Philippines, IMI is subcontracting assembly services to EMS Components Assembly Inc., also a Filipino-owned company."We are looking to replicate this 'captive' model in China and Vietnam," Barcelon said, referring to the Japanese model of developing local capability in electronics by subcontracting work to service providers.