Fri, Mar 04, 2005 - Page 11 News List

2004 production up 23%

COST-BENEFIT Taiwanese firms produced US$67 billion worth of computer hardware last year, the highest in the world, but most manufacturing took place in China

AP AND DPA , TAIPEI

Taiwanese firms produced US$67 billion worth of computer hardware last year, a 23 percent increase over the previous year and highest in the world, an industry report said yesterday. However, most of the goods were manufactured in China by Taiwanese firms.

The figure is expected to reach above US$70 billion this year, said the reported released Thursday by the Market Intelligence Center (市場情報中心), under the semi-official Institute for Information Industry (資策會).

Taiwanese companies, which have invested more than US$100 billion in China, are continuing to shift production to there to capitalize on cheap labor and production costs, the report said.

About 73 percent of the total value of the output by Taiwanese computer makers in 2004 came from their factories in China, it added.

"Taiwanese firms are making more goods in the Chinese mainland so as to achieve the best economic benefits," the report said. "This has helped them obtain orders from the big computer firms in the world."

Taiwan ranks fourth in the production of hardware (computer and peripherals) after the US, China and Japan, according to the center.

Taiwan attracts many foreign companies placing original equipment manufacturing orders, which requires Taiwanese companies to produce products bearing the brands of large international companies like Dell Inc, Apple Computer Inc and Microsoft Corp.

The report said the US$67 billion worth of laptops, motherboards and other hardware produced by Taiwan's computer makers in 2004 was the highest in the world. It didn't say what countries came after Taiwan.

Last year, Taiwanese companies produced US$21.8 billion worth of laptops, or 72.4 percent of the world total, the report said.

Last year saw growing demand for liquified crystal display (LCD) monitors, which are increasingly popular with PC users. Taiwan produced 45.7 million LCD monitors last year with a production value reaching US$14.4 billion, up 44.4 percent from 2003, for a global share of 68 percent.

Taiwanese firms also produced 78 percent of the computer motherboards used in the world, and 54 percent of the traditional monitors, the report said.

The nation's production of digital cameras grew 34 percent last year, totalling 21.2 million units.

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