MANILA, July 14, 2005
 (STAR) By Marianne V. Go - Japanese electronics firm Uniden, which closed its doors in the Philippines in 2003, will resume operations in the country next month with a $300-million investment.

Uniden Corp. president Saturo Omori made the announcement at a meeting with President Arroyo yesterday.

Omori said Uniden Philippines would hire 8,000 employees when it reaches full capacity by next year.

Trade and Industry Officer-in-Charge Thomas Aquino yesterday welcomed the return of Uniden, saying that the firmís previous favorable experience in the country was a big factor in its decision to relocate its operations from China.

Uniden had left the Philippines in 2003 because the products it had been producing in the country had become outmoded.

With its return, Aquino said, Uniden had sought three assurances from the government.

The first assurance, Aquino said, was the governmentís acceptance of their return.

Uniden officials thanked the DTI and the Board of Investments (BOI) for facilitating their return.

The second assurance was with regard to labor relations since Uniden projects to hire up to 10,000 new workers.

The third assurance sought by Uniden was with regard to its imports of parts and components for its manufacturing operations in the country.

Uniden is infusing P1.5 billion worth of investments in the Philippines to manufacture for export some $300 million worth of electronic products such as digital cordless phones, digital scanners, marine radios, wireless microphones, two-way radio and VoIP (voice over internet protocol ) phones.

Uniden projects to employ between 8,000 to 10,000 Filipino workers, double the 4,000 employment generated during Unidenís first operation in Laguna in 1994.

Aquino, who met Unidenís top officials in a courtesy call at the Board of Investments said, "the strategic move of Uniden of choosing the Philippines as one of its manufacturing sites only proves that the country still maintains its reputation as an investment destination of choice among our neighboring countries."

"We could have chosen other Asian countries, but we intelligently picked the Philippines for our manufacturing operations as we are very well aware of its competitive advantages to include its very supportive government," Omori said.

Special Trade Representative to Japan Mike Haresco who accompanied the Uniden officials to Manila said, "the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Japan and the Department as a whole, will work vigorously in attracting more Japanese investments in the country."

Haresco said Japanese electronics firms continue to explore opportunities in the country for the manufacture, design and distribution of leading edge electronic products to the world.

Global electronics assembly is projected to reach $875 billion in 2008 and the DTI is leading initiatives to further develop and promote the electronics sector and competitively compete in the international marketplace.

The electronics industry accounts for about 67 percent of the countryís total exports to the world.

Japan is the leading export market for Philippine electronics followed by the Netherlands, the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The manufacturing facility in the Philippines is one of Unidenís three factories. The other two factories are located in China. Unidenís development engineering operations are located in Japan, the United States and Canada.

Unidenís marketing operations are located in North America and South America, Australia, Japan, China Europe and Asia.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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