Tue, Mar 01, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan-China air cargo shipments increase

GROWING TREND The government said in a report released by the Bureau of Foreign Trade yesterday that the value of cross-strait air cargo shipments can only grow more


Air cargo shipments between Taiwan and China have significantly increased over the past seven years, and the figure will keep rising as business ties between the two sides continue getting closer over time, according to a government report.

The report, released by the Bureau of Foreign Trade yesterday, indicated that the value of air cargo shipments in US dollar terms from Taiwan to China (including Hong Kong) has surged from US$4.4 billion -- 17 percent of total exports to China -- in 1998, to US$24.9 billion -- 39 percent of total exports to China -- last year.

Imported goods shipped by air from China to Taiwan also increased during the same period, from US$600 million -- 16 percent of all imports from China, to US$5.4 billion -- 32 percent of all imports, the report said.

Exports to China transported by air are mostly electronics parts and components, with integrated circuits (IC) and liquid crystal devices accounting for over 50 percent, the report said. Other major items are consumer electronics products including mobile handsets and digital cameras.

Semiconductors, information technology related devices and semi-finished goods are the top three items shipped by air from China, and comprise nearly 50 percent of all imports from China via the air route, the report said.

"It shows that small-sized and high-value electronic IT components and products have gained a larger proportion in cross-strait trade ... as manufacturers from Taiwan and China seek to curtail manufacturing time and speed up delivery. Considering that the life cycle of these products is getting shorter, the air cargo shipping business between the two sides will continue to grow," the report said.

* 1998 -- US$4.4 billion in value (17% of total exports to China)

* 2004 -- US$24.9 billion (39% of total exports to China)

China-to-Taiwan air cargo shipments

* 1998 -- US$600 million in value (16% of all imports from China)

* 2004 -- US$5.4 billion (32% of all imports from China)

Source: Taipei Times

James Wu (吳新華), deputy director of the bureau, yesterday denied that the report is an endorsement of direct cross-strait cargo flights.

Nonetheless, the report comes at a time when President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Feb. 16 urged China to begin talks on allowing direct charter cargo flights, following the successful implementation of special charter flights for Taiwanese businesspeople during the Lunar New Year holidays.

The issue was also included in the "10-point consensus" signed by Chen and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) when they met last week.

Rock Hsu (許勝雄), the chairman of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association (電電公會), said previously that direct links will help Taiwanese companies doing business in China save NT$40 billion in shipping costs per year.

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