Fri, Aug 27, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Hsinchu Science Park posts soaring gains over last year

GAINING MOMENTUM In the year's first half the park's revenue leaped 46%, led by vast global demand for IC chips and flat panel displays

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Driven by strong worldwide demand for semiconductor products, companies in Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), the powerhouse of the nation's high-tech industry, posted a total revenue of NT$534.1 billion (US$15.7 billion) for the first half of the year, a 46.1 percent jump from a year ago.

"While the semiconductor sector keeps gaining momentum, the figure is expected to go up in the second half of the year and further through next year," James Lee (李界木), Science Park Administration director general, told a press conference yesterday.

"For the whole year, we estimate that the revenue will reach a record NT$1.2 trillion in the Hsinchu Science Park," Lee said.

Although Typhoon Aere lashed northern Taiwan over the past two days, Lee said it did not cause damage or losses among companies in the park. Production of chips and other high-tech products carried on as usual, and although water supplies were temporally cut, companies made use of their water tanks to weather the emergency, he said.

During the January to June period, 157 integrated circuit (IC) companies in the park churned out NT$360.6 billion in revenues, up 47.4 percent from a year ago and accounting for 67.5 percent of total revenues, administration statistics showed.

Citing statistics from the US-based Semiconductor Industry Association, Lee said the global market for the semiconductor industry will break the record of US$204.4 billion set in 2000 to reach US$212.3 billion this year, a 4 percent increase. Taiwan is expected to account for 16 percent of that amount, he said.

The largest revenue growth for the park was seen in the sizz-ling optoelectronic industry, which reported NT$66.8 billion in revenues, a 97.5 percent leap from last year mainly attributed to the sales of flat panel displays, the administration said.

Chi Guo-chung (紀國鐘), deputy minister of the National Science Council, which oversees the park, said that despite many local companies having moved part of their operations to China, Taiwan still has an edge in controlling high-end product manufacturing and key components.

Hong Kong and China remained the largest destinations for the park's exports, as combined shipments to these markets increased another 5 percent to account for 39 percent of total exports over last year. Exports from the park reached NT$240.9 billion in the first half of the year, up 42.5 percent from a year earlier.

Even so, a shortage of electricity in China has prompted six China-bound Taiwanese companies to move back to Taiwan and set up shop at the Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學園區) in Tainan with investment of NT$1.52 billion. Lee said the administration did not see this phenomenon in Hsinchu, probably due to limited land supply in the park.

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