Two European firms — Merck KGaA and BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate GmbH — are interested in expanding the scope of their business and investment in Taiwan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
The two firms signed letters of intent with Ling Chia-yuh (凌家裕), director-general of the ministry’s Department of Investment Services, when he visited France and Germany last week.
Merck, a German pharmaceutical and chemical company with about 40,000 employees in 67 countries, is hoping to join hands with Taiwanese panel manufacturers in developing organic light- emitting diode (OLED).
“Merck is concerned about the high costs of developing OLED panels and it agreed with the ministry’s view that it could start by collaborating with [manufacturers of] smaller-sized panels as their costs are lower,” Ling said by telephone.
This will also be beneficial to Taiwanese firms, as Merck is a leader in the OLED field and can help local companies close the technology gap.
However, Merck did not say which companies it plans to work with, or whether it would set up a joint-venture firm to produce OLED panels, he said.
The details still have to be ironed out, he added.
Merck is represented in Taiwan by Merck Display Technologies Ltd, which conducts research and development for Merck’s global LCD division and provides Taiwan with locally produced liquid crystal mixtures, as well as products such as displays, lighting and photovoltaic materials.
Meanwhile, BSH is interested in expanding its business in Taiwan by adding more outlets.
The home appliances maker is impressed with the local market’s prospects and plans to open more outlets to cope with rising demand.
Euromonitor International’s data showed that BSH had the largest market share of dishwashers in Taiwan, with retail sales last year reaching NT$48 million (US$1.6 million).
BSH is the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe and one of the leading companies in the sector worldwide. Its main brands are Bosch and Siemens, and it comprises about 70 companies in 46 countries, with about 43,000 employees.
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