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Record-High Electronics Exports in the Philippines in 2021 – OpenGov Asia

Last year, the Philippine electronics export revenues increased by a record-high 12.9% from the year before, despite the pandemic-related curbs, according to an industry report. In 2021, the country’s semiconductor and electronics sector shipped $45.92 billion worth of goods. The 2020 lockdowns disrupted the industry’s pre-pandemic rise, posing record earnings for three years in a row. In 2020, earnings dropped by around 6% to $40.67 billion. The record revenues in 2021 means electronics now account for more than 60% of the country’s total export receipts of $74.64 billion in 2021.
The report stated that a key driver for the rise in demand is electronic components used in telemedicine, work-from-home arrangements and artificial intelligence (AI), among others. Electronics sectors that posted growth in exports last year were telecommunications (138%), medical or industrial instrumentation (37.49%), electronic data processing (29.51%), consumer electronics (19.45%), office equipment (19.32%), control and instrumentation (12.92%), and components or devices or semiconductors (7.37%).
In December alone, the country’s electronics exports went up slightly to $3.92 billion from $3.90 billion in the same month in 2020. Electronics sectors that saw exports climb in December were telecommunications (183.97%), automotive electronics (39%), office equipment (29.70%), and semiconductors (1.61%). The top destinations for Philippine electronics exports in December last year were Hong Kong, the United States, China, Singapore, and Japan.
The report expects that this year, export revenues could grow by 10%. The projection depends on improvements to inbound and outbound logistics flows, supply chains, the health of the population as well as the reopening of the country. The report also suggests that country could do much more. Most of the electronics manufacturing companies in the country are within the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) locations. A key challenge is its ability to attract as many new investments as its peers in Southeast Asia. The industry is asking to amend the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (the CREATE Law), which was passed in March 2021.
The CREATE law reduced corporate income tax and rationalised tax incentives and set a threshold for investments that can be approved by investment promotion agencies (IPAs) like PEZA. While the CREATE Act cuts the corporate income tax from 30% to 25%, it requires exporters to surrender their fiscal incentives within ten years. Under the new law, IPAs can only approve a project worth PHP1 billion ($19.6 million) or less. Investments with higher value need to be approved by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board, headed by the Department of Finance.
The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently announced it is drafting the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2022-2027 to improve the country’s competitiveness in international markets. It has an overarching goal of transforming the country from an exporter of commodities and intermediate goods to an exporter of high-value products and services. The new PEDP is envisioned to take an industry development approach to boost export competitiveness; that is, by attracting export-oriented investments in innovation driven-sectors to increase product and service diversification.
The water quality in the Great Barrier Reef will be improved thanks to a multimillion-dollar collaboration between The University of Queensland and the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. The newly launched Reef Catchments Science Partnership (RCSP), led by UQ’s Associate Professor Michael Warne and Professor Stuart Phinn, is developing new and enhanced methods of land and water quality monitoring. Dr Warne stated that innovative, high-tech monitoring and modelling tools will allow the researchers to better protect the Reef and achieve Queensland’s conservation goals.
The AU$ 3.1 million Reef Catchments Science Partnership help implement key components of the Queensland Government’s Reef Protection Regulations and generate information to assist in the design and delivery of water quality improvement programs and projects.
It was noted that these regulations, passed in 2019, are designed to quickly improve practices to reduce land-based pollutant runoff from both industrial and new agricultural sources. The RCSP will work to develop customised monitoring tools and data products for use in the field, bolstering both monitoring and compliance.
A large part of the program will include building tools to support the calculation of various forms of nutrients and sediment entering the Reef. And it offers the researchers a great platform to explore and develop collaborative projects with other research groups, NGOs and industry, Dr Warne added.
Professor Stuart Phinn said the partnership will allow government agencies to work with communities to monitor, model and reduce pollutant and pesticide loads in Reef catchments. He noted that appropriately developed technology and information will help the team better understand and manage human impacts on the Reef. They will be able to transform scientific expertise into real, practical tools, with direct impacts on water quality in Reef catchments and on the Reef itself.
UQ’s research team will also include a senior scientist, five post-doctoral fellows and one PhD student, with Queensland Government scientists also contributing. The program is the first stage of the ongoing collaboration between UQ and the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.
The World Wildlife Fund recently released a first-of-its-kind report assessing the current field of conservation technology and the ability of various tools to diagnose, understand and address the most critical environmental challenges of the present day.
They identified three emerging technologies with especially promising trajectories to advance conservation over the next ten years. The three technologies are artificial intelligence (specifically machine learning and computer vision), environmental DNA (eDNA) and genomics, and networked sensors are named the top three emerging conservation technologies.
The report, led by WILDLABS and Colorado State University and supported by their NGO partners and two tech sector leaders, surveyed 248 conservationists and technologists across 37 countries using the WILDLABS.NET platform, asking them to rate 11 widely used tools for their capacity to advance conservation.
Over 90% of respondents rated each of the top three emerging technologies as ‘very helpful’ or ‘game changers.’ Although these three technologies ranked among the lowest when it came to current overall performance, their promising trajectories show their substantial room for and the likelihood of further development, potentially making them areas ripe for investment and exploration. The three technologies represent new frontiers in wildlife conservation, at a time when protecting and restoring the natural world has never been more important or urgent.
By definition, a patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention of a novel approach to a problem. It’s the latest in innovation and as such can be a measure of how much technology is progressing. Taiwan’s patent applications show stronger numbers compared to last year’s first quarter. Under Taiwan law, patents are categorised into three groups – invention, utility model and design. Invention patents are considered the most important in terms of new technology ideas.
In the first quarter, a total of 12,534 invention patent applications were filed, up by 5% from a year earlier according to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Moreover, the number of applications from foreign applicants rose by 10% to 7,837, and the number of applications from local applicants fell to 4,697 from 4,742, the office said. The number of invention, utility model, and design patents filed in Taiwan hit 17,498 in the first quarter, up by 2 per cent from a year earlier, according to the office.
As expected, semiconductor research produced the biggest number of patents. To note, Taiwan’s local chip manufacturing firm, also currently the world’s largest contract chipmaker, filed the largest number of patent applications among all local and foreign applicants in the first quarter of this year, the IPO detailed. Data compiled by the office showed that in the first quarter, the local semiconductor giant filed a total of 723 invention patents, a quarterly high for the chipmaker since the office started tallying patent applications in 2012.
A local communication network IC designer was second among Taiwanese companies after filing 107 invention applications in the first quarter. Its application was down by % from a year earlier. Still, it was ahead of a local flat-panel maker that submitted 98. A local memory chip supplier came in fourth with 98. Finally, a local flat-panel maker with 88.
Among all foreign applicants, a U.S.-based smartphone IC designer was the largest patent applicant in Taiwan for the January-March period, the office said. It filed 242 invention patent applications in the first quarter on its way as the top foreign applicant in the country. Its filing is up by 13 per cent from a year earlier, the office said.
Afterwhich, a slew of Japanese and American semiconductor equipment suppliers are the next biggest new invention producers that filed for the IPO office. This reveals just how much the country’s economy is growing in terms of its semiconductor exports.
Taiwan’s digital transformation is making all these inventions and patent applications happen. So far, the country has focused its effort to adopt digital solutions at great length. The results speak for themselves. The digital economy is growing also in great strides.
A concrete example is how much time, talent and treasure have been allotted by Taipei to boost its space technology. With support from the American, Indian and other economies, it should be able to produce its first locally-launched big satellite in due time.
Already, digital is making its presence felt these days for the Taiwanese people. Such common services such as bike-sharing programs are getting the boost they wanted. While many have viewed bikes as a rather common solution to an age-old problem, Taiwan’s digital economy has allowed the service to be a lot better and a lot more comfortable than before. In short, it’s giving the people the service they deserve.
Things are certainly moving up in the technology department. With a new big tech corridor opening in the near future in Southern Taiwan, the country is primed to have a brighter future ahead, as reported on OpenGov Asia.
China’s industries felt the pinch of the pandemic as cities struggled to cope with a more contagious COVID-19 virus strain early this year. Increasingly, however, digital offered solutions that are now becoming more apparent paving the way for a faster digital transformation for these firms.
The textile sector’s digitalisation drive offers a glimpse into how Chinese manufacturers, especially those in traditional industries, are striving to weather economic hardships by embracing the trend. An example is one of China’s textile companies which has found it challenging as it now faces the protracted impact of COVID-19. However, in the eyes of the industry veteran, burgeoning digital technologies offer a ray of hope for his company and even the whole textile sector. As the pandemic lingers, he is still concerned about challenges. But, looking to the future, the seasoned businessman remains confident and energetic. Rather than waiting and being reactive, we need to be proactive, he said.
Indeed, digital adoption has increased as the virus pummels its way through China’s cities. Another manufacturing company in Zhejiang province, a manufacturing base in East China, has vowed to channel more energy to digital fronts this year.
As many fell victim to the advance of a more contagious version of the virus, one by one, ambitious plans have been hammered out by China’s industries to push forward transformation. An industry stalwart said his company will leverage live-streaming platforms to expand sales and explore the application of the industrial internet in production lines to lower operating costs.
Fast-developing digital technologies from Big Data to 5G are now widespread in the manufacturing sector and are reshaping the broader economic landscape. In 2020 when the virus was in full swing, China’s digital economy rose 9.7% year-on-year to 39.2 trillion yuan (US$ 6.16 trillion), accounting for 38.6% of the country’s total GDP.
For manufacturers, in particular, digitalisation means decreased information asymmetry and increased supply chain transparency, enabling quality growth and allowing for better responses to market fluctuations.
During recent COVID-19 resurgences, the role of digitalisation has become even more crucial in ensuring a dynamic and disruption-free real economy. As the highly contagious Omicron variant has caused COVID-19 flareups in multiple regions across the country, parts of industrial chains have come under enormous pressure. In hard-hit cities, the flow of goods was congested for some small and medium-sized enterprises until intelligent transport technologies smoothed supply networks.
Through digital coordination among merchants, warehouses, operations and other links, products stored in different places can be deployed efficiently and supply chain performance can be guaranteed at a maximum level, Ma said.
At recent meetings, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has, in particular, urged efforts to make good use of 5G, the industrial internet and other digital technologies to help enterprises resolve difficulties and stabilise industrial and supply chains.
Given the increasingly significant role of digital technologies, increased policy support is in the pipeline. The need for a rapid digital transformation of the industries has caught the eye of Beijing. This year’s Government Work Report also included support for the digital sector.
We will strengthen overall planning for the Digital China initiative, build more digital information infrastructure, develop an integrated national system of Big Data centres step by step and apply 5G technology on a larger scale.
– Government Work Report
MIIT chief engineer Tian Yulong has said that a digital transformation action plan is unfolding, including trials aimed at further combining information technology and manufacturing prowess.
China’s digital transformation has been anything but slow. Its Big Data investments, for instance, have increased in recent years spurred by the virus advance. So much so that China’s biggest cities are some of the biggest adopters of the latest emerging tech to hit town, the metaverse, as reported on OpenGov Asia.
True innovation needs focused attention and doing so produces greater results in the long run. That’s what the Philippines is doing with its space agency – transferring needed assets to guarantee its eventual success. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) have officially signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on the transition of Space Science and Technology Assets (SSTA) from DOST to PhilSA.
While PhilSA will take the lead in the expansion of space technology, the two departments will still work with one another in advancing innovation. Thus, both agencies will continue to collaborate and work together to facilitate the smooth joint operation of various tech-oriented programmes. Some of the key ones are:
To note, these projects are being maintained or implemented by the DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI). Said joint operation means both agencies will have access to the process, functions, and systems of the mentioned services and projects; and is expected to effectively facilitate the eventual transfer/turnover of these projects and services to PhilSA.
Today, we leave all these infrastructures, all these capabilities in the hands of the Philippine Space Agency, confident that they will further cultivate it as we’ve intended. However, expect the DOST to continue working with PhilSA and other government agencies as we continue to collaborate with them on space activities and through cooperative use of our existing science infrastructures such as our high-performance computing facility and our national research and education network.
– Fortunato de la Peña, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology
 DOST-ASTI Director Franz de Leon affirmed that even before PhilSA came into fruition, his agency had its place in space. Thus, DOST will always be working hand-in-hand with Philippine Space Agency by providing relevant science and technology innovation in space R&D.
Space technology has a great potential to hasten the digital transformation of a country. Satellite technology, for instance, can advance online education like no other. As it is not limited to the constraints of ground access, space-provided internet can introduce connectivity to remote places that would have been impossible to bridge. An example is how VSATs were deployed by Manila to help typhoon-torn remote areas in Mindanao in the aftermath of the Super Typhoon Rai, estimated as one of the strongest in modern times. That certainly hastened the recovery for these far-flung areas.
By providing internet access, consumers can avail of online sales and bring more products to their immediate use. Space technology also develops space-adjacent sectors such as the semiconductor and electronics industries.
Space technology could provide the answer to the Philippine infrastructure challenge. As an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, providing connectivity is a huge endeavour, if not a nearly impossible task. However, space tech should provide the means to bridge that gap.
A speedy way to detect COVID-19 is the Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT). With results available within minutes, it can certainly be a great way to manage the virus. Now, New Zealand is making millions of RATs available. What makes the process a lot more seamless is its digital methodology. With online ordering leading the way, accessing needed tests is easy.
As per the New Zealand government website, anyone who is symptomatic (or has been in contact with someone who has) can now order RATs through the newly launched RAT requester site.
It’s one of a range of ways we are making testing more readily available for those who need it. We have a good supply of RATs to meet demand during Phase Three of our Omicron response.
– Jo Pugh, Acting Group Manager, COVID-19 Testing and Supply
Pugh disclosed that on top of the 15 million RATs that arrived recently, more products have come. Another 2.6 million have arrived, followed by another delivery of 5.1 million RATs. Moreover, he cited that these new RATs are flowing through the supply chain and into collection sites where they can be accessed by anyone assessed as needing one.
There are 146 collection sites, 106 testing centres and 21 providers supporting our priority population groups nationwide. And with the addition of participating pharmacies and GPs, there are now more than 500 access points for RATs, with additional sites continuing to be opened across the country.
Yet, what makes it even more seamless is the digital component. Pugh detailed that the ability to place an order online ensures that the process is smoother when people go to collect them. It also means that the whole whānau don’t need to queue up at the testing centre when one person in the household gets sick, because one can collect RATs for everyone in your household.
People can still access free RATs without an order via Community Testing Centres, but only for an eligible individual. RATs are also available for purchase in some retail stores now for people who are not unwell or have household contacts but want a RAT for other reasons. The goal is to make sure that getting tested is as easy as possible for people – it is an important part of the country’s strategy to slow the spread of the virus to keep the pressure off hospitals.
Digital also offers solutions to individuals who want to hoard the tests. As disclosed, the website also contains features to prevent people from ordering too many RATs to ensure that everyone who needs one can get one. These include order limits by address and phone number.
To a large degree, the pandemic has made digital a must. When the virus made lockdowns and social distancing a norm, the need for digital solutions became more pronounced. Experts believe the virus did what many governments and businesses needed to do a long time ago.
Digital transformation has made ways that seem impossible before possible. The best part is it’s giving everyone the service they truly deserve in various sectors of society. Another example is how a dedicated website has become the solution to help AgriTech entrepreneurs get needed aid from the government.
There are numerous ways digital can help New Zealand plan better and meet possible challenges ahead before they even materialise. A great example here is Wellington’s Digital Twin which with the help of the Internet of Things (IoT) allows government and experts to see the ill effects of climate change in the years to come as reported on OpenGov Asia.
Singapore, 28 April 2022: The second edition of the Chandler Good Government Index (the “CGGI”, or the “Index”) launched today in Singapore, with Singapore ranking third globally. Designed by the Chandler Institute of Governance (CIG), the CGGI is the world’s most comprehensive index of effective national government. It shows the importance of investing time and energy into enhancing the skills of public servants and the structures they operate within, to allow delivery of a better and more sustainable future. This year’s edition builds on the success of the first report, and comes at a critical time as governments around the world look to recover from the pandemic.
Based on over 50 open data sources, the CGGI is a principled and data-driven way to understand the capabilities and outcomes of 104 governments across the world, and almost 90% of the world’s population. The index focuses on seven pillars – Leadership & Foresight; Robust Laws & Policies; Strong Institutions; Financial Stewardship; Attractive Marketplace; Global Influence & Reputation; and Helping People Rise. The rigorous methodology of the Index was developed in consultation with government practitioners, leaders, index experts, and researchers in governance. The process was conducted independently, without any discussions with, or financial support from, the Singapore Government.
Similar to the 2021 CGGI, Singapore performed strongest globally in the areas of Financial Stewardship and Attractive Marketplace. This demonstrates the Singapore government’s strong capabilities in fiscal policy, public financial management, and budgeting, as well as highlighting the conducive business and investment environment in the country. Additionally, Singapore also took the top spot for Helping People Rise, highlighting the emphasis Singapore places on ensuring social mobility for its people.
European nations feature prominently in the top 20, with Finland holding onto the top position and Switzerland ranking second. Other APAC nations in the top twenty include New Zealand (9th); Japan (15th); Australia (17th); and South Korea (joint 19th).
The top 20 countries in the CGGI 2022 are as follows:

Singapore’s results by pillar are as follows:

Top 10 Asia-Pacific countries (East Asia and Pacific, and South Asia) are as follows:
The Index – developed by government practitioners, for government practitioners – has been designed to be a practical tool for enhancing good governance. It enables governments, with their own unique economic and political situations, to assess and benchmark their capabilities and performance. The Index report provides analyses and examples of relevant and impactful policy and effective service delivery around the world.
Key Findings of the 2022 CGGI:
Good governments are more prepared for pandemics and other crises
Released during the pandemic, the Index allows us to assess how governance affects a nation’s crisis preparedness and responses. The 2022 CGGI shows that countries with good governance were better prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, conducted more tests per capita, and generally experienced fewer excess deaths per capita. Because many government capabilities – such as planning, budgeting and policy design – can be deployed to manage different challenges, the CGGI highlights the role of better governance in how nations deal with other pressing issues such as climate change and regional instability, during these increasingly turbulent times.
Good governance is closely linked to social mobility and social progress
Overall CGGI country rankings are closely linked to the degree of social mobility and social progress countries experience. In turn, social mobility is key for long-term cohesiveness and harmony within nations. The Index suggests that the most capable governments are those which foster the greatest social mobility, and social mobility increases the opportunities for every citizen to prosper.
Mr Wu Wei Neng, Executive Director of the Chandler Institute of Governance said, “Government capabilities are an enduring source of competitive advantage for nations. These capabilities include systems, institutions, processes, and skills – elements that take time to improve and build up. Once developed and strengthened, government capabilities are not easily eroded in the short-term, and can support governments through brief periods of instability or crisis.”
Governance capabilities are an enduring source of national advantage
Roughly one-third of countries in the CGGI (33) maintained the same overall ranking, and there were few large changes in country rankings. This stability can be partly attributed to the CGGI’s focus on capabilities, rather than outcomes. Capabilities in governance represent enduring foundations for public sector excellence, and are stable and lasting investments that governments can make for the future.
Dr Vu Minh Khuong, Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy said, “Capabilities are key to outcomes; all countries need to invest in developing better government capabilities. As the world is entering an era of revolutionary change, governments must be at the forefront of embracing emerging challenges and opportunities to create prosperity. International support to developing countries, therefore, should strategically focus on empowering and engaging governments as a leading driver of national development endeavours and a critical part of the solution to global challenges.”
More capable governments achieve better outcomes
The Index continues to show that effective government capabilities are closely linked to better outcomes for citizens. The same seven countries that top the overall Index also deliver the best outcomes in important areas such as education, gender equity and health, that matter to citizens. Additionally, Rule of Law, Property Rights, and Anti-Corruption are the three capabilities out of 26 that are most closely linked with overall CGGI performance. These are cornerstones upon which trust-based societies and economies are built. The Index not only highlights the need to bolster government capabilities globally, but can also reveal the specific areas different governments need to prioritise.
Mr Kent Weaver, Professor of Public Policy and Government, Georgetown University said, “Good governance should not be taken for granted; even high-performing countries can be caught off guard by unforeseen crises. The COVID-19 pandemic shows us that trust is a vital part of good governance. Indeed, the ability to effectively tackle corruption is the metric most closely associated with overall performance in the Index. When citizens trust their leaders and institutions to deliver effectively, governments can be more ambitious, and can work closely with communities to create opportunities and prosperity.”
Singapore’s Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) and a leading provider of advanced design and validation solutions have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate in accelerating research, development, and education in quantum technologies.
Under the MoU, the two will closely cooperate in the development of quantum instrument packages, as well as the technologies that enable quantum systems to be scalable and deployable. They will establish a Quantum Joint Innovation Accelerator programme to make it easy for researchers participating in QEP to access software design tools and advanced test and measurement equipment. Researchers can apply to evaluate the provider’s measurement tools in their laboratories and access equipment hosted at its premises in Singapore.
QEP and the tech provider will establish a collaborative framework to accelerate research and development in the emerging quantum technology ecosystem. According to an official, the partnership will open up new frontiers and developments, which will propel industry innovations for years to come.
The QEP was launched in 2018 by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF) and hosted at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to support quantum technologies research and ecosystem building. The programme funds projects in quantum computing, quantum communication and security, quantum sensing, and quantum foundry, which are expected to lead to practical uses. The solutions provider is well-positioned to provide modular and scalable quantum control systems, by leveraging the company’s expertise in advanced measurement equipment, qubit control solutions, and precise measurement instrumentation, which enable researchers to engineer and perhaps scale next-generation systems to harness the power of quantum computing and other quantum devices.
In February, QEP announced it would conduct nationwide trials of quantum-safe communication technologies that promise robust network security for critical infrastructure and companies handling sensitive data. The National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN) will deploy commercial technologies for trials with government agencies and private companies, conduct an in-depth evaluation of security systems, and develop guidelines to support companies in adopting such technologies.
Hosted by NUS, the initiative will receive $8.5 million over three years. Collaborators will bring expertise, equipment, and use-cases to the project. As OpenGov Asia reported, the joint research team expects to have the first nodes up within a year. In parallel, they will establish a Quantum Security Lab to commence advanced quantum security vulnerability research and secure design. They will also organise workshops with potential end-users to better understand their needs and build awareness of the new technologies available.
Initial plans for the deployment are for ten network nodes to be installed across Singapore connected to fibre, including two at NUS, two at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), and others at government and private company premises.
The nodes will be connected to provide a public network that can act as a living lab for organisations wanting to experience quantum-safe communication technologies, and separable government and private networks trialling dedicated users’ applications. A further experimental node at NUS will make a free-space connection to the public network, developing technologies that could extend secure links to locations that cannot be connected to fibre or may even be moving, such as boats.
© 2022 OpenGov Asia – CIO Network Pte Ltd.


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