Thu, Feb 12, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Science parks feeling the heat from financial crisis

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The state-run Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學園區) in Tainan and Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區) in Taichung all took a hit from the global financial crisis in the final months of last year.

Statistics released by the National Science Council (NSC) yesterday show the total turnover generated by the three high-tech parks it administers fell by 6.55 percent to NT$1.84 trillion (US$54.17 billion) last year compared with 2007, the first drop in business volume since 2001.

The three parks had an average growth of 3.62 percent in turnover as of the end of last October, but turnover fell suddenly and sharply in the last two months of the year due to a sudden contraction in global economic growth, the council said in a statement.

Of the six major industrial sectors in the parks, the integrated circuit industry had the highest turnover last year — NT$922 billion — accounting for 50.06 percent of the total and representing an annual decline of 6.54 percent.

The opto-electronics industry had NT$752.4 billion in turnover, a drop of 6.74 percent from the previous year, while the computer and peripheral products manufacturing sector reported a turnover of NT$79.1 billion, a drop of 17.52 percent.

The communications industry’s turnover was NT$34.8 billion, a drop of 10.31 percent, the council said.

There were two bright spots.

The precision machine manufacturing sector’s turnover of NT$40.5 billion was a 26.96 percent increase over 2007, while the biotechnology industry’s turnover of NT$7.4 billion was a growth of 19.35 percent.

There were a total of 699 businesses operating in the three parks as of Dec. 31, 95 of which were foreign companies, with 449 in Hsinchu, 158 in Tainan and 92 in Taichung, the council said.

The parks attracted 86 new investors last year, whose investments totaled NT$51.89 billion.

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