Business and Finance

October jobless rate hits 3.8%, lowest since April

Focus Taiwan
Date: 11/23/2020
By: Flor Wang and Su Ssu-yun

A job fair in July. CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 23 (CNA) Taiwan's jobless rate contracted further in October to hit its lowest level since April, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported on Monday.

The unemployment rate hit 3.8 percent last month, down by 0.03 percentage points from September, the lowest level in six months, the DGBAS said.

After seasonal adjustment, the country registered a jobless rate of 3.77 percent in October — down by 0.01 percentage points from the previous month and the fifth consecutive monthly decline since May, it said.

Taiwan outperformed several major countries in this regard, ahead of Canada with 8.9 percent unemployment, France with 7.9 percent, the United States with 6.9 percent, Germany with 4.5 percent and South Korea with 4.2 percent, it noted.    [FULL  STORY]

Industrial production rises 7.06 percent

FAVORABLE: Demand for information and communication products is still strong amid the pandemic, but it might have peaked, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 24, 2020
By: Angelica Oung / Staff reporter

People work at a construction site in Kaohsiung yesterday.
Photo: CNA

The nation’s industrial production last month increased 7.06 percent year-on-year, but slid 1.4 percent from September’s record peak, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

It was the ninth straight month of continuous year-on-year growth for industrial production, as demand for information and communications technology products remained strong, the ministry said, but added that demand might have peaked.

“The demand for COVID-19-related electronics is still robust when you look at it on a year-on-year basis, even though it is down from last month’s record,” Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Huang Wei-jie (黃偉傑) told a news conference in Taipei.

By sector, production of electronic components was up 16.93 percent year-on-year, but down 1.35 percent monthly. In particular, production of integrated circuits rose 23.03 percent annually, but fell 2.98 percent monthly, the ministry said in a report.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Asus announces Chromebox 4 mini PC

Chromebox 4 can support up to three 4K displays simultaneously

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/11/20
By: Eric Chang, Taiwan News, Contributing Writer

Asus Chromebox 4 (Asus photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Asus has announced its latest mini PC that runs Google’s Chrome OS — the Chromebox 4.

At 148.5 x 148.5 x 40 mm, the new micro PC is similar in size to the Chromebox 3, but instead of 8th Gen Intel processors, the Chromebox 4 offers a variety of different 10th Gen Intel processors, according to The Verge. Buyers can choose from the Intel Celeron 5205U or one of three Intel Core processors: an i3-10110U, an i5-10210U, or an i7-10510U.

The Chromebox 4 can be configured with 4 GB or 8GB of memory (DDR4-SO-DIMM) and up to 256 GB of storage. The device comes with multiple ports, including HDMI 2.0, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, which can handle up to three 4K displays at one time, according to the report. The system also supports dual-band 802.11ax WiFi 6.

Similar to other Chrome OS devices, the Chromebox 4 supports Google Play, allowing users to use Android apps natively. The new machine also allows for automatic Chrome software and security updates, which means that users do not have to download and restart as one would with Windows or Apple computers.    [FULL  STORY]

U.S.-Taiwan economic dialogue opens with signing of MOU

Focus Taiwan
Date: 11/21/2020
By: Stacy Hsu and Y.F. Low

From left to right: American Institute in Taiwan Managing Director Ingrid Larson, U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach, Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi, and Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim. Photo courtesy of TECRO

From left to right: American Institute in Taiwan Managing Director Ingrid Larson, U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach, Taiwan's Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi, and Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim. Photo courtesy of TECRO

Washington, Nov. 20 (CNA) The first U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue opened in Washington, D.C. Friday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding that will lay the groundwork for deeper and more comprehensive economic cooperation ahead, according to Taiwan's representative office in the United States.

The MOU was inked by Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and American Institute in Taiwan Managing Director Ingrid Larson as part of the opening ceremony, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) said in a statement.

The signing was withnessed by U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach and Taiwan's Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺), the office said.   [FULL  STORY]

Export orders post new record

SOLID DEMAND: New smartphone launches by major brands and robust demand for ICT products drove orders to a new high last month, the economics ministry said

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 21, 2020
By: Angelica Oung / Staff reporter

A cargo ship, fully loaded with containers, is pictured yesterday at a port in Taiwan.
Photo: CNA

Export orders hit a new record of US$51.6 billion last month, growing for an eighth straight month on an annual basis, bolstered by strong demand for smartphones, game consoles and 5G-related applications, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

The figure represented a monthly expansion of 3.1 percent from US$50.03 billion and 9.1 percent from US$47.28 billion a year earlier.

Export orders have continued to trend up this month, likely reaching US$51 billion to US$52.5 billion, the ministry said.

That would represent an annual growth of 14.53 to 17.89 percent from US$44.53 billion in November last year.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan forms FinTech Co-Creation Platform

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/11/19
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taiwan’s FSC launches FinTech Co-Creation Platform. (Facebook, FSC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) on Thursday (Nov. 19) launched the FinTech Co-Creation Platform to speed up the development of financial technology in the country.

The next phase will be to invite government departments, financial institutions, and international venture capital groups to form an international interdisciplinary review group, the Liberty Times reported.    [FULL  STORY]

Phoenix approves TSMC incentives

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 20, 2020

ARIZONA PROJECT: A spokeswoman said that TSMC appreciates the support from US authorities, which gives it and its partners confidence about future investments

City officials in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday approved a slate of financial incentives and government support for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) planned US$12 billion chip plant, a step toward bringing high-tech manufacturing to the US and addressing national security concerns over the industry supply chain.

The city agreed to provide about US$200 million to develop roads, sewers and other infrastructure, according to a notice from the city council.

At least one additional set of traffic lights would be included for a cost of approximately US$500,000.The company is conducting due diligence on several locations in Phoenix with a final decision to be made later.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan ranks 20th for talent competitiveness: IMD

In Asia, only Singapore and Hong Kong did betterTaiwan News
Date: 2020/11/17
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

​Taiwan ranks as No.20 in the world for the competitiveness of its talent, according to IMD  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan was ranked No. 20 out of 63 countries in the latest talent competitiveness list published by the IMD Business School in Switzerland Tuesday (Nov. 17).

The island nation also ranked third in Asia on the list, with Singapore at No. 9 and Hong Kong at No. 14. South Korea followed at No. 31, Japan at No. 38, and China at No. 40, CNA reported.

Small European countries occupied the top three spots, with IMD host Switzerland coming in at No.1 for the fourth year running, ahead of Denmark and Luxembourg.

The National Development Council (NDC) pointed out that Taiwan’s ranking, which is the same as last year, is the best since 2013. For one of the factors contributing to the rankings — attracting and retaining talents — Taiwan jumped 14 spots to No. 34 based on government measures to attract foreign professionals, the NDC said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Eslite bookstore chain to open first Malaysian outlet in 2022

Focus Taiwan
Date: 11/17/2020
By: Jiang Ming-yen and Evelyn Kao

​Eslite Chairwoman Mercy Wu (right) and Joseph Yeoh, vice president of YTL Hotels & Properties and YTL Land & Development. CNA photo Nov. 17, 2020

Taipei, Nov. 17 (CNA) Taiwanese bookstore chain Eslite said Tuesday that it will open its first outlet in Southeast Asia in 2022, in Malaysia.

The new store, with a floor space of 6,612 square meters, will be set up in The Starhill shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, as part of Eslite's plan to penetrate the Southeast Asian market and also help boost cultural tourism in Malaysia when the COVID-19 pandemic ends, Eslite Chairwoman Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) said at a virtual press conference.

The idea of opening an Eslite outlet in Malaysia was developed after carrying out public opinion polls in that country and holding several meetings with executives of YTL Corp. Bhd., a Malaysian infrastructure conglomerate that owns The Starhill, Wu said.

Joseph Yeoh (楊恭賢), vice president of YTL Hotels & Properties and YTL Land & Development, visited Taiwan in August 2019, while Eslite representatives went to Malaysia in November last year for meetings, Wu said.    [FULL  STORY]

Quang Viet sees order pickup

BACK ON TRACK: The outdoor garment maker said its utilization rate could hit 100% next month and revenue could start rising in the second or third quarter of next year

Taipei Times
Date:  Nov 18, 2020
By: Lisa Wang / Staff reporter

Quang Viet Enterprise Co president Charles Wu poses for a photograph at an investors’ conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Lisa Wang, Taipei Times

Down jacket and outdoor garment maker Quang Viet Enterprise Co (廣越企業) yesterday said it expects revenue to return to growth next year due to recovering customer demand following promising developments of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Factory utilization is picking up and could reach 100 percent next month from an average of 80 percent, as customers have restarted orders withheld earlier this year due to the pandemic and started placing orders for next year, the Neihu District (內湖), Taipei-based company said.

Revenue “will start growing again from the second quarter or the third quarter next year,” Quang Viet president Charles Wu (吳朝筆) told investors at a quarterly conference in Taipei.

“Recent news about vaccine developments is encouraging. People will be more willing to go out to shop, which is good for Quang Viet’s business, if vaccines become available next year,” Wu said.    [FULL  STORY]