Taipei, Sept. 15 (CNA) Production at the Central Taiwan Science Park, one of Taiwan's major industrial development zones, fell during the first half of the year, dragged down by the global economic slowdown.
In the first six months of 2012, the output value of companies in the science park totaled NT$138.9 billion (US$4.71 billion), down about 10 percent from the same period a year earlier.
Yang Wenke, director-general of the park's administration, said the drop largely reflected weakening global demand for flat screens and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. The weakness in global demand in turn was the result of lingering debt problems in the eurozone and a slowdown in the American and Chinese economies, he said. The science park houses the facilities of many local high-tech giants, such as the world's largest contract chip maker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), flat panel supplier AU Optronics Corp., and memory chip firm Rexchip Electronics Corp.
Despite the decline in output, exports from companies in the science park during the six-month period rose 6.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$98.55 billion, Yang said.
The increase in export value was largely the result of TSMC's launch of commercial production of chips using the advanced 28 nanometer process in its 12-inch wafer plant in the park, Yang said.
TSMC is gearing up to expand its production of chips using the advanced process to meet strong global demand from mobile device suppliers.
While production value in the first half of this year fell, Yang said, companies in the park are expected to reach the target of NT$300 billion in output for all of 2012, as electricity and water consumption has risen since July, a sign of increasing production.
In the first eight months of the year, 15 companies put up facilities in the science park, including precision machinery supplier Hiwin Technologies Corp. and polyester film supplier Shinkong Materials Technology Co.
Meanwhile, bicycle maker Giant Manufacturing Co. plans to set up its global operating headquarters in the science park but has not yet found a piece of land large enough for the project.
(By Chen Ching-ping and Frances Huang)