Nan Ya teams up with PPG
Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) plans to team up with PPG Industries Inc of the US to build a NT$3 billion (US$89 million) glass fiber kiln in China, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported, citing Nan Ya executive vice president Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭). The plant will have annual capacity of 33,000 tonnes, making it the biggest in the world, supplying the material used in circuit boards of electronic products, the paper said. PPG Industries will provide the technology and Nan Ya will be in charge of production and operations, the paper said. Nan Ya, based in Taipei, is Taiwan's biggest plastics maker. Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries, the world's No. 2 maker of car paint, makes protective coatings, flat glass, fiber glass products and specialty chemicals.
Halliburton Co said Friday its involvement in a Nigerian gas plant project had become the subject of a formal inquiry by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. French prosecutors are already combing through the details of Halliburton's involvement in the plant, the US oil services group said.The investigation is focused on whether a Halliburton joint venture broke US anti-bribery laws in order to win construction contracts for the gas plant. US Vice President Richard Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive officer between 1995 and 2000. The company is already being investigated by the US government amid allegations it overcharged the military for fuel delivered to Iraq.
■ Economic Policy
Zimbabwe's inflation drops
Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate slowed slightly to 448.8 percent last month from 505 percent the previous month, officials figures showed yesterday. Despite the drop in the rate cited by the state news agency ZIANA, inflation in Zimbabwe remains among the highest in the world. Zimbabwe's inflation peaked in November last year to hit 619.5 percent having leapt some 94 percentage points from the previous month making it the single largest jump since the economy began its slide some three years ago. The government in November last year predicted that the southern African country's inflation rate would hit 700 percent in the first three months of this year before climbing down.
■ Financial Aid
Jordan wants Marshall Plan
Jordan's King Abdullah II wants a program for the Middle East modeled after the Marshall Plan, which is credited with saving postwar Europe from economic and political disarray. In an address Friday to business leaders, the king said he had approached US leaders about such a project before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "The plan is needed now more than ever, to give people hope and offer them an alternative to hate and division," he told 500 people at a hotel in downtown Chicago. "I'm talking about a Marshall Plan, as it were, for the recovery of the Middle East." Abdullah didn't say if the US alone should take part in putting together such a plan, nor did he say how much it might cost. The four-year Marshall Plan cost US$13 billion (about US$100 billion in today's dollars) and helped rebuild Germany as well as 14 other war-damaged European nations after World War II.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be