Panasonic will invest $15bn in telecommunications companies over the next five years, the country’s largest electronics manufacturer said in a statement on Wednesday, as it tries to cement its position in the global electronics market.
Panasonic will invest in its semiconductor business and in other businesses, the company said in the statement, which came as a response to growing competition from Chinese companies and their high-tech products.
“This investment in our technology businesses will make us the largest and most advanced mobile phone supplier in the world,” said the company’s president Kazuo Yamamoto, a former chairman of Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest electronics manufacturer.
Panama has become increasingly focused on expanding its global footprint as the Chinese government seeks to bolster its economy.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves fell last year, reflecting a drop in investment in its main economic sector.
“We want to be able to build a world-class technology ecosystem and a global mobile telecommunications network,” Yamamoto said in an interview with Reuters news agency.
Panamas decision comes at a time when global smartphone makers are ramping up efforts to bolster their global dominance.
The US company HTC is launching a new handset in Mexico, which is set to be the world’ largest smartphone market.
The Mexican government is expected to announce a plan in 2018 to make it easier for foreign companies to establish and operate factories in the country.
Panamanian companies are among the world leaders in the field of smart home automation, with Panasonic supplying some of the devices that connect to the internet, including Amazon’s Alexa.