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Taiwan's export hopes hinge on new high-tech gadgets: BOFT

2016/07/08 22:47:51

CNA file photo

Taipei, July 8 (CNA) Taiwan will need successful launches of new electronics gadgets by international brands to stimulate global demand if it hopes to reverse its current export slowdown, the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) said Friday.

One of the most anticipated launches, the BOFT said, is Apple Inc.'s unveiling of its new iPhones in the second half of this year, which could help Taiwan's exports because many domestic vendors are Apple suppliers.

These Apple suppliers, including Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海), the world's largest contract electronics maker, account for about 40 percent of the total market capitalization of Taiwan's stock market.

The BOFT's comments came after Taiwan reported that its exports in June fell 2.1 percent from a year earlier. It was the 17th consecutive month in which exports fell, the longest export slump in the country's history.

The June fall, however, was smaller than the 9.6 percent year-on-year decline seen in May. In the first six months of this year, Taiwan's outbound sales were down 9.1 percent from a year earlier.

Citing Cheng Cheng-mount (鄭貞茂), head of the Taiwan-based Asia Pacific Industrial Analysis Association, the BOFT said Taiwan is also looking to other high-tech gadgets, such as virtual reality devices and unmanned aerial vehicles, to boost electronics shipments in the second half.

Another potential boost could come from a rising Japanese yen, which could make Taiwan's machinery products more attractive. Taiwan and Japan compete for market share in the global machine tool market, the BOFT said.

Even a rebound in international crude oil prices could push exports higher by increasing the export value of petrochemicals shipped abroad in the second half, the agency said.

The BOFT said the bureau will continue to invite potential foreign buyers to visit Taiwan to drum up new export opportunities.

(By Chiu Po-sheng and Frances Huang)