Markets
Malaysia a likely beneficiary of US-CN trade war
Tim Culpan | 03 Aug 2018 00:30
US President Donald Trump may well be the best thing that has happened to Southeast Asia’s humble electronics industry in quite a while.

Relatively small, and frankly not as sexy as their North Asia cousins, makers of components and devices with factories dotted around the region may get some time in the spotlight thanks to the US administration’s decision last month to levy an additional 25% import tax on 818 items from China.

Assembly of name-brand gadgets like Apple Inc’s iPhones tends to grab an outsized share of attention from media, analysts and investors. Yet crucial parts of the electronics supply chain that also rely on low-cost manufacturing exist in Southeast Asia, such as capacitors, printed circuit boards, hard drives and Bluetooth headsets.

Simon Shen, president of Taiwanese electronics conglomerate New Kinpo Group, oversees facilities in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the US, and he’s becoming quite a fan of the US president. Well, his tariffs anyway.

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