Fri, Aug 15, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Science Park attracting profits, investment

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER IN TAINAN

Southern Taiwan Science Park's (南部科學園區) first-half sales grew 25.7 percent to NT$60.87 billion as previously encountered obstacles have been overcome, according to the park's administration yesterday.

Driven by strong growth in the optoelectronics sector, the park's total sales this year could reach NT$150 billion, with an annual growth rate of 50 percent, administration officials said at a press conference held yesterday in Tainan.

"If the global economic situation remains stable, sales of NT$150 billion could possibly be reached," said Wu Men-feng (吳盟分), deputy director-general of the park administration.

According to the park's investment director Magnolia Hsing (辛玉蘭), recent statistics showed that sales in the park's optoelectronics sector accounts for 58.4 percent of total sales of the park.

The sector's sales grew 38.44 percent in the first half to NT$35.57 billion.

Sales in the park's chip-making sector grew 7.78 percent to NT$23.53 billion in the first half.

The most promising area of sales for the sector was chip design, the park's officials said. That particular segment grew 291.39 percent in the first half of the year.

Hsing said that the rising star for the park was the biotechnology sector, as its sales in the first year grew 325.15 percent to NT$0.18 billion.

Hsing said that concerns over the possible adverse effects of Taiwan's first high-speed railroad and its proximity to the foundries had been dismissed.

She said that well-designed engineering would effectively minimize the impact of the railway.

New foundries, Hsing said, would be placed at a distance exceeding 1,000m from the rail line. Meanwhile, NT$2.5 billion had been allocated to solve problems pertaining to possible flooding by building detention ponds, drainage pipes and flood-monitoring systems, Hsing said.

Officials said 112 firms have built facilities in the park, including 10 sitting in the Luchu zone (路竹基地), in Kaohsiung County. Currently, eight Japanese companies have also built facilities in the park.

The park's improving infrastructure continues to attract invest-ment. By the end of this year, officials said, there will be about 18,000 employees working at the park.

By the end of this year, shopping malls and bilingual schools will be available for residents living inside the park.

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