Thu, Aug 09, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Premier Sean Chen champions German industrial planning

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The success of Germany’s “hidden champions” is a model the nation could emulate in transforming its small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) into leading global enterprises, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) said yesterday.

Chen was quoted by Executive Yuan spokesperson Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉) as telling Cabinet officials that they should emulate German economic development, which emphasizes “core technology” and “original brands.”

The Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday presented a proposal on the development of the nation’s “hidden champions” at a routine Cabinet meeting aimed at formulating economic recovery measures.

Over the past 400 years, Germany has developed more than 450 enterprises, collectively known as Mittelstand companies, that have become the engines of its export manufacturing, Chen said.

Though small and medium in scale, they are all dominant global players in their respective markets because their competitiveness has been honed by core technologies, Chen said.

Citing as examples the German lens-maker Carl Zeiss and Brita GmbH, which specializes in making drinking water filtration systems, Chen was quoted by Hu as saying that the Mittelstand companies are “admirable models.”

“That’s the direction we need to head toward in the future” to combat the declining market share of Taiwanese-made products and to upgrade the nation’s original equipment manufacturing-based industrial clusters to own-brand industries, Chen said.

At the meeting, Chen set a goal of turning 100 SMEs into “hidden champions” in three years after the government hammers out details to assist selected companies in recruitment, financing and protection of intellectual property rights.

Potential “hidden champions” named at the meeting included Giant, the nation’s biggest bicycle maker, and HIWIN Technologies Corp, a manufacturer of precision machinery components, Hu said.

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