The global financial crisis has taken a toll on the nation’s photonics industry, with output value falling 4 percent to NT$2.01 trillion (US$59.2 billion) last year as demand weakened, the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (PIDA) said yesterday.
“The photonics industry has experienced a sharp downturn beginning in the fourth quarter of last year, with the flat-panel display industry being affected the most,” PIDA president Frank Ma (馬松亞) told a press briefing.
The Taipei-based PIDA said that with the global economic crisis affecting demand, output this year would only edge up slightly to NT$2.05 trillion.
Output will pick up to 2007’s level of NT$2.1 trillion next year, PIDA said in a report.
Growth of the local photonics industry will depend to a large extent on the performance of the solar photovoltaic industry, PIDA said.
The nation’s solar cell industry ranks fourth in the world, after Germany, Japan and China. Although it accounted for only 9 percent of the global market share last year, PIDA said it had a lot of room for growth.
The nation’s bulk crystalline silicon solar cell and module, with a global market share of 24 percent, ranked first among the world’s top three makers last year, PIDA said.
On a global scale, output has been growing by an average of 10 percent per year and reached about US$364.7 billion last year.However, output this year is expected to contract by 3 percent, PIDA said.