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Talk of the Day -- More companies interested in 'coming home'

2012/06/01 21:13:50

Export-oriented companies have shown an increased interest in opening new production lines in Taiwan, according to the results of a survey released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

The survey, which looked into the practice of Taiwanese companies taking orders at home while producing them overseas last year, found that 12 percent of respondents planned to increase production capacities in Taiwan this year.

Moreover, the ratio of Taiwanese companies planning to build production bases in China has declined, according to the results of the survey released Thursday.

Meanwhile, Taiwan saw its export growth ranking plummet in the 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook rankings issued by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management and Development (IMD) earlier this week, falling from fourth in 2011 to 54th.

The IMD report said the average annual export growth rate of the 59 countries and areas surveyed was 21.65 percent last year, far higher than Taiwan's 12.26 percent growth rate.

The following are excerpts from local media coverage of the business development plans of major Taiwanese exporters and the country's overall export performance:

United Daily News:

The MOEA survey found that 56.52 percent of companies responding to the poll plan to expand their production capacities in Taiwan, compared to 41.61 percent who said they want to increase production lines in China.

The ratio of companies intending to boost production at home increased 7.91 percentage points from that recorded in a similar 2011 poll, while the ratio of companies planning to expand capacity in China slid 7.25 percentage points.

The survey, in which 2,718 valid samples were collected, was conducted from Feb. 21 to March 30.

The top three industries intending to add capacity were machinery, textiles and basic metals, MOEA officials said.

The survey also found that local exporters have felt a growing threat from their peers at home and in China.

Taiwan-based exporters ranked their top three competitors last year as local counterparts first, Chinese rivals second and overseas Taiwanese companies third.

But in the electronics, precision instrument and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors, in which most products are manufactured in China and Hong Kong, overseas Taiwanese enterprises are gradually supplanting domestic peers as the biggest threats to domestic exporters, the survey found.

Competition from Chinese counterparts was also growing, the survey said. (June 1, 2012)

Commercial Times:

More than 90 percent of electronics, ICT and precision instrument orders received by Taiwanese companies were produced in China in 2011, according to the MOEA survey.

Overall, 50.52 percent of Taiwan's exports were manufactured at overseas plants, of which nearly 93 percent were produced in China and Hong Kong.

Only 49.48 percent of export orders were produced in Taiwan, according to the MOEA survey.

Some MOEA officials said the large share of overseas production and concentration of overseas production bases in China posed potential risks.

"We'll work with other government agencies to attract more companies to relocate production bases back to Taiwan or launch new investment projects based on innovative technologies and management at home to enhance our export competitiveness," said an MOEA official. (June 1, 2012)

Economic Daily News:

Citing survey findings, Huang Ji-shih, director-general of the MOEA's Department of Statistics, said 39.2 percent of local exporters who maintain manufacturing bases in China and Hong Kong said Chinese corporations were their main competitors, followed by their peers in Taiwan and overseas Taiwanese enterprises.

The survey also found that although more than 70 percent of products manufactured at Taiwanese companies' overseas plants were sold to third countries, the ratio of sales in their countries of origin has increased to about 20 percent.

"The finding indicates that overseas production has gradually become more targeted at local sales," Huang said. (June 1, 2012)

China Times:

Taiwan ranked in the bottom six in terms of 2011 export growth rates among the 59 countries and areas evaluated by the IMD for its 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook rankings.

Worse still, Taiwan's exports posted a 4 percent annual decline in the first quarter of this year due to sluggish global demand amid eurozone debt concerns.

Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said Taiwan truly needed to step up export promotion efforts to catch up with its major export competitors.

Yiin Chii-ming, head of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, said South Korea did better than Taiwan at withstanding adverse global economic conditions in the first quarter because its industrial sector and export outlets are more diversified than Taiwan's.

"South Korea has everything that we have, such as ICT gadgets, flat panels, semiconductors and photovoltaics, and it has a lot that we don't have, such as large auto, steel and shipbuilding companies," Yiin noted.

He said Taiwan should continue diversifying its industries and export markets to better cope with global economic challenges. (June 1, 2012)

(By Sofia Wu)