Taiwan’s global competitiveness climbed one notch to 14th place this year, although the overall scores remain unchanged, in line with the nation’s lackluster economic performance, a World Economic Forum (WEF) report said yesterday.
The WEF annual report assessed the competitiveness of 138 economies based on 114 indicators grouped in three sub-indices.
Taiwan scored 5.28 this year, the same as last year, after achieving small gains in financial market development and technological readiness ratings, the report said.
However, the nation posted modest declines in infrastructure, market size and other evaluation areas, the report said.
Policy instability poses the biggest hurdle for doing business in Taiwan, followed by insufficient innovation capability and inefficient government bureaucracy, the report said.
Other problems include tax regulations, restrictive labor regulations, tax rates and access to financing, the report said.
By contrast, companies have little or no concern about corruption, crime and theft, or poor public health in Taiwan, according to the report.
“Taiwan is an innovation powerhouse and should endeavor to maintain the status by training and attracting talents at the core of the innovation ecosystem,” WEF researcher Thierry Geiger said.
Innovation is crucial for the nation’s export-oriented economy and the government can take steps to encourage entrepreneurship, Geiger said.
This year, Taiwan ranked fourth in the Asia-Pacific region behind Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, but ahead of China and South Korea, the report showed.
In this year’s report the WEF called Taiwan “Chinese Taipei,” rather than “Taiwan, China,” for the first time since the organization first released the annual competitiveness report in 2006.
While most Asian countries stalled or retreated in the rankings, India achieved significant improvement from 55th to 39th, the report showed.
Switzerland remained the most competitive nation for an eighth consecutive year, ahead of Singapore and the US in the WEF rankings, while the Netherlands overtook Germany to take the fourth spot.
The report voiced concerns that declining openness is threatening growth and prosperity, while monetary stimulus measures, such as quantitative easing, are not enough to sustain growth.
“Near-zero or negative interest rates have left little further scope for traditional monetary policy and delivered mixed results in spurring growth,” the report said.
An increasingly important element of competitiveness is creating an enabling environment for innovation, it said.
Innovation has to go hand-in-hand with openness and economic integration, it added.
The National Development Council is coordinating public and private funds to encourage industrial upgrades and innovation. The Financial Supervisory Commission is urging local lenders to help support innovation.
This and other measures aim to mitigate the pain caused by China’s economic rebalancing on local manufacturers, as Beijing is cutting dependence on exports from Taiwan.
Units of Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co are targeting to resume full operations of their Ho Chi Minh City plants by the end of next month, a move that could provide relief to global supply chains. Saigon Hi-Tech Park is helping its tenants, many of which are running at about 70 percent capacity, to operate fully next month, park deputy manager Le Bich Loan said in a phone interview. She did not elaborate on the steps the park is taking, particularly efforts at bringing back workers who fled to home provinces. The Ho Chi Minh City unit of Nidec Sankyo Corp,
CHIP CRUNCH: Apple’s woes show that even the king of the technology world is not immune from global shortages made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic Apple Inc is likely to slash its projected iPhone 13 production targets for this year by as many as 10 million units as prolonged chip shortages hit its flagship product, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company had expected to produce 90 million new iPhone models in the final three months of this year, but it is now telling manufacturing partners that the total would be lower because Broadcom Inc and Texas Instruments Inc are struggling to deliver enough components, the people said. Apple gets display parts from Texas Instruments, while Broadcom is its longtime supplier of wireless components. One Texas
EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) and China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), the nation’s two major airlines, reported accelerated revenue growth in the third quarter compared with the previous two quarters, thanks to robust air cargo business. EVA Airways yesterday said sales for last quarter rose 40 percent year-on-year to NT$25.81 billion (US$917 million), compared with an increase of 25 percent in the second quarter and a fall of 35 percent in the first quarter. China Airlines said sales grew 39 percent to NT$34.6 billion in the third quarter, after gaining 10 percent in the second quarter and falling 14 percent in the first quarter. EVA
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is embarking on a recruitment drive to hire 200,000 workers in Shenzhen, China, as it ramps up production of the new iPhone 13 series, Chinese business news outlet Eastmoney.com reported. Hon Hai is seeking to recruit those heading back to the city after China’s seven-day National Day holiday, which began on Oct. 1, to help churn out the estimated 100,000 iPhone 13s produced on the site each day, the report said. Following last month’s global release of the iPhone 13, Hon Hai entered its traditional peak season, and workers at its Chinese production sites are said