Taiwan: Manufacturing Industry is Vital

Taiwan will lose more than NT $2.5 trillion (US $75.14 billion) annually in foreign income if the manufacturing industry is allowed to move overseas, a local economist warned. Taiwan Thinktank chairman, Chen Po-chih, said during a speech on the challenges and future of the manufacturing industry, that many people i

 Taiwan will lose more than NT $2.5 trillion (US $75.14 billion) annually in foreign income if the manufacturing industry is allowed to move overseas, a local economist warned.

Taiwan Thinktank chairman, Chen Po-chih, said during a speech on the challenges and future of the manufacturing industry, that many people in Taiwan consider the manufacturing industry a low-value sector and are proposing that the country focus on research and development, and marketing.

Chen, former chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, agrees that a high-income country, such as Taiwan, should concentrate on research and development and marketing, but the manufacturing sector -- which accounts for 23% of Taiwan's economic production and a large share of the country's exports -- should not be eliminated. 

According to Chen, the manufacturing industry's production lines can remain in Taiwan despite competition from countries with low labor costs, as long as Taiwan's products are developed using advanced expertise.
With at least one million out of the total of 2.7 million workforce in Taiwan's manufacturing industry being labor-intensive, the exodus of the industry will seriously impact local society and the economy, said Chen.

Taiwan should encourage the manufacturing industry to produce distinctive products in order to enhance their competitiveness, Chen said. The government should relax the ceiling limits on China-bound investments if the investing businesses are not in debt in Taiwan, if they are not involved in any capital-labor disputes, and if their scales of production do not rely heavily on their operations in China, he added.

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