DTI urges electronics industry to further explore IoT market

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) urged the electronics and semiconductor industry to further explore the high-value market for Internet of Things (IoT) amid growing demand.

In a recent event, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that nearly all devices will be connected to the internet in the future; and semiconductor chips and electronics hardware will make this happen.

“IoT will be one of the 4IR [Fourth Industrial Revolution] dominant technologies that will introduce hyperconnected devices using sensors embedded with other advanced technologies such as AI [artificial intelligence], edge computing, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (or AR) for greater product quality and user experience,” Lopez said.

It is estimated there are over 10 billion active IoT devices in the world, the DTI chief said, noting that this number is expected to surpass 25.4 billion by 2030.

The trade chief said demand will be supported by industrial and consumer segments, including autonomous and connected vehicles, smart home products, smart health “wearables,” clean and resilient technology and gaming products, among others.

“Entering these new markets will allow us to leverage on our comparative advantage in the electronics industry value chain and upgrade into more complex and high-growth products,” Lopez explained.

The Trade department has implemented the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy, which is an innovation-centered and science and technology-based industrial policy, to maximize the said opportunities, Lopez said.

He said the strategy stresses the importance of using advanced technology in improving the local manufacturing sector’s global competitiveness, especially for the electrical and electronics cluster which is tagged as a priority industry for development.

Back in 2016, Lopez shared that the DTI also bankrolled the creation of the Electronics Roadmap. This covers AI, integrated circuit design, robotics, smart wearables, IoT devices, smart sensors, 3D printers and autonomous vehicles.

“Currently, we are implementing multi-pronged ‘Industry 4.0’ programs to help manufacturers—across size and industry—navigate their ‘Industry 4.0’ transformation,” he added.

One of the said initiatives includes the development of the Securing Manufacturing Revitalization and Transformation (SMART) program. Lopez said this seeks to address the structural barriers that are facing as they participate in Industry 4.0 information, which include lack of financing, skills training and technical know-how.

Meanwhile, the trade official touted the electronics and semiconductor industry as the growth driver for the manufacturing sector.

“After four consecutive quarters of negative growth rates, Philippine manufacturing is now back at a positive growth rate largely driven by the fast growth of electronics sector,” he said.

For the first quarter, Lopez noted that the electronics sector posted 17.5-percent growth while the electrical equipment segment booked 5.1-percent improvement.

The electrical and electronic sector also comprised the most value created by the manufacturing industry in the first quarter after the food products, he added.

This year, the semiconductor industry aims to grow by 7 percent despite the shipment delays threatening its supply chain.

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