Taiwan third-largest cellphone exporter in 2011: UN

Staff writer, with CNA, Brussels

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - Page 13

Taiwan was the world’s No. 3 cellphone exporter in 2011, lagging rivals China and South Korea, but ahead of other Asian competitors such as Hong Kong and Singapore, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said on Tuesday.

Statistics released by UNCTAD showed that Taiwanese cellphone exports for 2011 totaled US$10.55 billion (NT$312.3 billion), up from NT$7.56 billion in 2010 and NT$3.72 billion in 2009.

In 2009, Taiwan was the world’s eighth-largest cellphone exporter, after China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Hungary, Mexico, the US and Finland, the UN agency said. In 2010, it became the fifth-largest exporter, behind China, South Korea, Hungary and Mexico.

In 2011, Taiwan made another leap and took the lead over Hungary, Hong Kong, Mexico, the US, Singapore, Germany and India, while Finland dropped out of the top 10 exporters’ list, the agency said.

UNCTAD said China’s cellphone exports totaled US$63.19 billion in 2011, compared with the US$47.06 billion recorded in 2010 and up from US$39.79 billion in 2009.

Although South Korea sold more cellphones than Taiwan in 2011, its exports fell to US$15.08 billion in 2011 from US$15.29 billion in 2010 and US$18.13 billion in 2009.

UNCTAD pegged global cellphone imports for 2011 at US$174 billion, making cellphones the largest imported item among various information and communications technology (ICT) devices.

Global exports of ICT products, including cellphones, notebooks and tablet computers, in 2011 rose 4 percent from a year earlier to US$1.8 trillion.

The agency said Asia’s ICT product exports totaled US$1.2 trillion, which accounted for about 66 percent of the global total.

The top five ICT exporters in 2011 were China, with sales of US$508 billion, followed by Hong Kong with US$193.5 billion, the US with US$140.5 billion, Singapore with US$118.3 billion and Taiwan with US$105.7 billion, UNCTAD said.

Taiwan was the world’s ninth-largest ICT product importer in 2011, purchasing US$51.8 billion worth of merchandise. China was the largest buyer, with imports totaling US$313 billion, ahead of the US’ US$290.5 billion, Hong Kong’s US$206.4 billion and Japan’s US$86.7 billion.