Taipei machine tool exhibition to open as scheduled despite COVID-19
Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) The 2021 Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS) will open in March as scheduled, even though Taiwan has reported an increase in the number of domestic COVID-19 cases, the chairman of the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) said Wednesday.
Speaking at a news conference, Alex Ko (柯拔希) said he has faith in the nation's ability to fight the pandemic, despite a spike in domestic confirmed cases related to a cluster of infections at a hospital in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan.
As of Wednesday, Taiwan has reported 10 infections linked to the cluster.
Ko said TIMTOS 2021 will open on March 15 and run through March 20 as planned at the Taipei World Trade Center and the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Centerm, with both physical and online displays, unless the government announces stricter virus prevention measures to fend off the disease.
It is likely to be the world's first major trade show at a time of a global escalation of infections.
According to information on the TIMTOS' website, 1,250 exhibitors are expected to demonstrate their products at a total of 7,000 booths, including metal-cutting machine tools, metal-forming machines, laser punching machines, welding, vibration grinding, casting and forging equipment, surface treatment equipment, and tube and wire processing machines.
Major Taiwanese machine tool suppliers such as Hiwin Technologies Corp., Fair Friend Group and Victor Taichung Machinery Works Co., as well as foreign brands including Simens, Fanuc, DMG MORI and MAZAK, will also participate in the exhibition, the organizers said.
Ko said he expects the trade show will help Taiwan's machine tool industry secure about US$1.6 billion in orders.
According to Ko, machinery exports from Taiwan started to grow on a year-on-year basis for fourth consecutive month in December, indicating that the industry has climbed out of the previous doldrums caused by COVID-19 and become more stable.
Ko said the local machinery industry has seen a recovery in export orders in the first quarter of this year and momentum is expected to continue into the second quarter, with the expectation that machine tool suppliers in Taiwan will see growth for the whole of 2021.
Echoing Ko, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) Chairman James Huang (黃志芳) said that with more and more Taiwanese investors returning home to invest, the emergence of 5G applications, and a booming stay-at-home economy that will boost demand for production equipment, the local machine tool industry is expected to go back into a growth pattern in 2021.
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