Mon, Dec 12, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Science parks’ revenue slumps on global slowdown

Staff Writer, with CNA

The total revenue of the nation’s three major science parks dropped in the first 10 months of the year, hard hit by the European debt crisis and a sluggish US economy.

Science park sales fell 12.17 percent from a year earlier, according to figures released by the National Science Council on Saturday, a decline similar to the 12.14 percent year-on-year fall reported in previously released data for the first eight months of the year.

The Central Taiwan Science Park saw the biggest drop in revenues, with sales falling 20.97 percent to NT$246.26 billion (US$8.15 billion).

The Hsinchu Science Park’s revenues fell 13.42 percent to NT$843.97 billion, while Southern Taiwan Science Park sales declined 4.21 percent to NT$477.22 billion.

All of the parks attributed the poor results to the lingering debt crisis in Europe and the slow recovery of the US economy.

Hsinchu Science Park deputy director-general Tu Chi-hsiang (杜啟祥), the Hsinchu park’s, attributed the sales drop-off in the park to the nature of the products made there.

Most manufacturers in the park are in the information communications technology sectors, whose products include expensive computers and game consoles, he said. Customers are likely to put off purchases of these products when they do not have extra money at their disposal, he said.

The Central Taiwan Science Park was hurt by a sales slump in electronic products, exchange rate volatility and the debt crisis, the park administration said. TFT-LCD and the integrated circuits sectors are the two major pillars of the park, accounting for 70 percent and 23 percent of the park’s total sales. During the 10-month period, the two sectors posted revenue declines of 21 percent and 31 percent respectively.

However, the central science park said other businesses saw strong revenue growth, with computer peripheral sales up 131 percent, biotechnology revenues up 66 percent and precision engineering sales up 55 percent.

The southern park was not only affected by the situations in Europe and the US, but also by lower demand from China, Hong Kong and Macau, sources said.

The park’s optoelectronics businesses, especially panel makers, were the most affected, and manufacturers made strategic cuts in production to prop up sales prices, the sources said.

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