Wed, Oct 24, 2018 - Page 4 News List

New Southbound Policy: Taiwanese tech firms eye SE Asia

SMART SOLUTIONS:The firms in July met with the Thai minister of digital economy and society to discuss opportunities for expansion of the industry

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer

People examine an advanced electronic paper developed by a Taiwanese company on Oct. 6, the final day of the three-day Didac India, the biggest education fair in South Asia, organized by the India Didactics Association in New Delhi.

Photo: CNA

ASEAN nations and India are increasingly focused on Industry 4.0 — the trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing, cloud computing, the Internet of Things and cognitive computing — and major Taiwanese technology companies have been answering the call.

One of those companies is Advantech Co Ltd (研華科技), which held an Industry 4.0 forum in Ho Chi Minh City last year with Vietnamese systems integration company Techpro Thailand — the first large-scale forum of its kind to be held in Vietnam.

Advantech chief executive Ho Chun-sheng (何春盛) said Vietnam became a key nation in the company’s development strategy not only to satisfy the requirement of investors to shift production capacity to Vietnam, but also to expand into the Vietnamese market.

The industries that Advantech is focused on developing in Vietnam are smart transportation, smart energy production and smart manufacturing.

Techpro Thailand has invested in Advantech’s first service center for its products in Vietnam, where Advantech said its overall development strategy is three-pronged: development of designated industries, local investment and training of local talent.

“Taiwan can invest in producing computers, cellphones and electronic components in Vietnam. Just look at Intel, which has invested US$1 billion in Vietnam. So I hope there can be more high-tech Taiwanese companies investing in Vietnam — doing high-tech stuff there, computers ... because Vietnamese youth are very intelligent, they can pick up skills very quickly,” Representative to Vietnam Tran Duy Hai (陳維海) said.

This year’s Smart Asia forum, which was held from Oct. 4 to Oct. 6 in Bengaluru, India, was also largely focused on Industry 4.0 and was attended by 32 Taiwanese computer companies, including D-Link Corp (友訊科技), Gigabyte Technology Corp (技嘉科技), QNAP Systems Inc (威聯通科技), Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩).

The exhibition largely focused on the Internet of Things and other Industry 4.0 solutions, and showcased products for smart homes, smart offices and smart cities.

Taiwanese firms told attendees that collection and analysis of data from production lines could help improve the manufacturing process and the settings of manufacturing equipment could be automatically adjusted in response to conditions along the production line.

The Taiwan External Trade Development Council — which opened a new trade office in New Delhi in April — sent 10 companies to attend the Fourth Smart Cities India Expo held from May 23 to May 25 in the Indian capital.

At the expo, QNAP presented cloud-based smart solutions, IEI Integration Corp (威強電) showcased its intelligent transportation system solutions, Elitegroup Computer Systems Co (精英電腦) demonstrated its industrial energy-saving solutions and Microprogram Co (微程式資訊) showcased its intelligent payment and smart home solutions.

Thailand has also been focusing its efforts on the development of Industry 4.0 solutions and in the past few years has been promoting large-scale investment.

Its Thailand 4.0 initiative, which aims to build an innovation-driven economy, as well as develop the eastern seaboard of the nation — known as the Eastern Economic Corridor.

In July, Information Service Industry Association of the Republic of China director-general Yvonne Chiu (邱月香) led 12 Taiwanese information services companies to attend a symposium in Bangkok.

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