Business and Finance

Food delivery skyrockets amid virus

DIGITAL COMMERCE: In 2016, only 2 percent of orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that has risen to 10 percent, Foodpanda Taiwan Co operations director Nick Yu said

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 19, 2020
By: Angelica Oung / Staff reporter

A Foodpanda courier plies his trade in Taipei on March 17.
Photo: CNA

Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday.

When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said.

Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012.

“We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.”    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan confirms China has not ended trade agreement

MAC says Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement still in effect despite worries it will not be renewed

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/09/17
By: Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Wednesday (Sept. 16) that Beijing is not ending the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and all trade agreements between the two countries will remain in effect.

The preferential trade agreement was signed in 2010 to reduce tariffs and commercial barriers between Taiwan and China. After the ECFA expired on Saturday (Sept. 12), Taiwan manufacturers worried there would be adverse effects if it ended.

Even though the Taiwan government downplayed the effects of the ECFA being terminated by saying the impact on the country's trade revenues would be less than five percent, proponents of the pact believe it is key to ensuring Taiwan's inclusion in economic dialogues in the region, reported UDN.

During a press conference, MAC confirmed no changes have been made to any of the cross-strait trade agreements. It stressed that scholars and business owners in the country have advocated for the continuation of ECFA, so the government will respect public opinion and continue current policies.    [FULL  STORY]

Morris Chang estimated to pocket NT$312 million in TSMC dividends

Focus Taiwan
Date: 09/17/2020
By: Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang

TSMC founder Morris ChangCNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) Morris Chang (張忠謀), founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), is estimated to receive about NT$312 million (US$10.7 million) in cash dividends from the contract chipmaker, which will pay the dividends in October.

Shares of TSMC went ex-dividend on Thursday before issuing NT$2.5 in cash dividends per share held by its shareholders for its earnings per share (EPS) of NT$4.47 recorded in the first quarter of this year.

TSMC is expected to give out a total of NT$64.83 billion in cash dividends for the first-quarter earnings on Oct. 15.

Chang, who retired in June 2018 as TSMC chairman, owned 125 million shares of the company at that time. As long as he continues to maintain his holdings, he will receive some NT$312 million in cash dividends in October.    [FULL  STORY]

Central bank maintains rate at 1.125%

GDP OUTLOOK RAISED: Local tech firms have benefited from a boom in products for a low-contact economy, while domestic tourism has recovered, the bank said

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 18, 2020
By: Crystal Hsu / Staff reporter

Central bank Governor Yang Chin-long gesticulates during a news conference yesterday in Taipei.
Photo: CNA

The central bank yesterday kept its policy interest rate at a record low of 1.125 percent for the second consecutive quarter and slightly raised its forecast for GDP growth this year from 1.52 percent to 1.6 percent.

“The board extended the loose monetary policy to help stabilize consumer prices and support the economy,” central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said after its quarterly board meeting.

Although Taiwan’s economy has resumed growth and might improve further, a negative output gap might remain, meaning growth of supply would outpace demand.

Local tech firms have benefited from a boom in technology products sustaining a low-contact economy, while domestic tourism has staged a V-shaped recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic was brought under control in May, the bank said, after raising its growth projection by 0.08 percentage points based on government spending and private investment as supply chains relocate from China.       [FULL  STORY]

Demand outpaces local bicycle makers

O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 16, 2020
By: Angelica Oung / Staff reporter

From left, Giant Manufacturing Co chairwoman Bonnie Tu, Taiwan External Trade Development Council president and chief executive officer Walter Yeh, Merida Industry Co chairman Michael Tseng and KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc chairman Robert Wu are pictured at a media preview for the Taipei Cycle Show in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year.

“Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show.

The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s biggest bicycle chain makers, told reporters.

“Understand that from February to May all of the bicycle-making countries in the world were effectively at a standstill, with only a two-month supply of components at hand — this caused a massive shortage,” Wu said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan reaps US$64 billion bonanza from companies fleeing China

Tech companies jumping ship from China bring over 90,000 jobs back to Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/09/14
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

( photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Trade tensions between the U.S. and China exacerbated by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) have brought Taiwan a bonanza of NT$1.890 trillion ($US$64 billion) in investment and over 90,000 jobs within less than two years as its own companies have returned and pumped money into the local economy.

During a speech before members of the American Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 9 titled "Looking forward to the post-pandemic era, Taiwan's economic challenges and opportunities," Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) highlighted contract PC maker Quanta Computer Inc. (廣達) as a prime example of Taiwanese companies that have returned production facilities to Taiwan. Exemplifying how the cost structure in China and Taiwan have reached a level of parity, Wang said that after shifting production from China to Taiwan, the per-unit cost of its servers only increased by NT$1, reported FTV News.

Wang Chien-chuan (王健全), vice president of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, told the news agency that in the past, China used free land and discounts on utility fees to lure Taiwanese manufacturers, but these special incentives have been phased out. Given the rise of the China-United States Trade War, "the world's factory" no longer enjoys the cost advantage it once did, said Wang.

According to Wang, the "aura" of Taiwanese companies in China has faded, while the cost of labor has skyrocketed with the monthly wage rising by nearly 2,000 Chinese yuan from 2018 to 2019.    [FULL  STORY]

Central bank expected to leave interest rates unchanged: economist

Focus Taiwan
Date: 09/14/2020
By: Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang

CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) The central bank is expected to leave its key interest rates unchanged in an upcoming quarterly policymaking meeting scheduled for Thursday amid eased worries over COVID-19 in Taiwan, an economist said Monday.

Wu Meng-tao (吳孟道), director of the sixth research division of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER), said that Taiwan has been doing better than many other countries to contain COVID-19 and that the efforts have helped to stabilize the local economy.

Moreover, he said, as the local market remains awash in liquidity and Taiwan's economy has been ascending from a low caused by the spread of the virus, "it is not necessary for the central bank to lower interest rates and pump in more funds at the moment."

In March, the central bank lowered interest rates by 0.25 percentage points, marking the first rate reduction after leaving interest rates unchanged for 14 consecutive quarters at a time when the global economy faced strong headwinds caused by COVID-19. In the quarterly policymaking meeting held in June, the central bank decided to maintain its key interest rates.

Electricity rates to remain unchanged

ACCOUNTING NEEDS: The economics ministry did not lower electricity rates, despite falling oil prices, because it needs to replenish a fund to decommission nuclear plants

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 15, 2020
By: Angelica Oung / Staff reporter

A man points at an electricity meter in a building in Taipei yesterday. The Ministry of Economic Affairs is to maintain electricity rates unchanged at NT$2.6253 per kilowatt-hour for the next six months.
Photo: CNA

Electricity rates are to remain unchanged at NT$2.6253 per kilowatt-hour for the next six months, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday following a meeting of its electricity price review committee.

Electricity rates have not been altered in the four meetings since September 2018, and the committee decided to keep the rates unchanged until March 31 next year, before it holds its next twice-yearly meeting, the ministry said.

Saying that price stability is the overriding consideration of the committee, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) told reporters at a news conference that the body opted not to lower electricity prices, despite slumping crude oil prices.

“While oil prices have fallen considerably, the US Energy Information Administration expects crude oil prices to rise to US$50 a barrel in 2021, compared with US$42 a barrel this year,” Tseng said.    [FULL  STORY]

Growing Distrust of China Brings $38 Billion Windfall for Taiwan

Bloomberg News
Date: Sep 13, 2020
By: Chris Horton and Raymond Wu

BC-Growing-Distrust-of-China-Brings-$38-Billion-Windfall-for-Taiwan , Chris Horton and Raymond Wu

(Bloomberg) — Taiwan sits squarely in the middle of the worsening dispute between Beijing and Washington, with many of its companies operating factories in China manufacturing for American companies.

Those tensions are pushing Taiwanese companies to relocate some production back home and also redirect money to factories on their side of the strait. Taiwan’s government has helped with tax breaks and other support, and that investment has cushioned some of the blow from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since January 2019, more than NT$1.1 trillion ($38 billion) of Taiwanese investment has come back, Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua said Wednesday, with tech manufacturers including Innolux Corp., Accton Technology Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. building new factories in Taiwan.

Supply chains for electric vehicle manufacturers including Tesla Inc., which has a factory in Shanghai, are also moving to set up in Taiwan, she told members of the American Chamber of Commerce and their Taiwanese counterparts, touting the fruits of the government’s policy to bring manufacturing and investment back.    [FULL  STORY]

MHI Vestas to source Taiwanese wind project components locally

Adding to its already lengthy list of components to be sourced in Taiwan for upcoming projects, MHI Vestas has concluded a purchase agreement with the Fassmer Atech Composites Taiwan Ltd. (FACT) joint venture for local supply of spinner covers and nacelle covers.

Energy Global
Date: 11 September 2020
By: Sarah Smith, Digital Editorial Assistant

MHI Vestas’ V174 turbine

Spinner covers and nacelle covers are made of a composite glassfiber material and protect the wind turbine systems from the external environment at sea, particularly valuable for often-harsh conditions off the coast of Taiwan.

These components will be used at MHI Vestas’ Changfang Phase 2, Xidao and Zhong Neng projects, adding further credibility to the world’s most ambitious localisation plan currently being delivered by MHI Vestas in Taiwan.

The spinner covers and nacelle covers will be produced for MHI Vestas’ V174 turbines at FACT’s facility in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Contracts have now been signed by MHI Vestas in Taiwan for local supply of blades, blade materials (bonding glue, resin, pultruded carbon plates), towers, switchgear, rotor hubs, hub plates, nacelle base frames, low voltage cabinets, UPS systems, PCM assembly, spinner covers and nacelle covers with further local supply chain contracts planned for 2020.