The Taiwanese semiconductor industry could reap billions of dollars in foreign investment set to flow into Asia, but are being hindered by government bureaucracy, industry leaders said yesterday.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting East Asia (PWC) partner, John Moran, told an audience of top industry leaders that changes in the global semiconductor industry meant that foreign investment dollars would soon flow into the region.
"There are billions and billions of dollars coming into Asia as semiconductor manufacturers in Europe and the US are shutting down. So there is an enormous amount of growth in the area of how to use e-business," Moran said.
E-business -- which includes e-commerce, e-supply chain and other business electronic information exchange functions -- has been heralded as a defining factor in the success or failure of enterprises in the near future.
Moran was presenting PwC's e-business expertise and e-supply chain services to an array of top executives in Taiwan's semiconductor and other sectors.
Taiwanese companies need to be more open to partnerships in order to meet the competitive challenge of the near future, he said.
"Taiwan needs to be more open when working with others, for example with suppliers in other countries, on how to work together to create brand new channels, cut out some layers. This will create more value for Taiwan and work on Taiwan's competitiveness -- creating products out of ideas quickly and with high quality," he said.
Taiwanese bureaucracy, however, remains a hindrance to the industry's development, according to Herman Hsia (
Civil service resistance to the adoption of global standards was delaying the creation of the necessary regulatory environment for the development of standards for immediate financial transfers and other e-business standards, Hsia said.
"I have tried to convince the finance ministry but they say it doesn't fit certain local regulations .... We need to change those regulations now, because e-business grows so fast -- if we don't learn fast then we'll soon be left behind," he said.
Hsia added that legislators keen to invest in high-tech stocks were hindering the work of technical professionals.
"Recently legislators tried to do things that are improper -- but they are not the professional people, and they don't know how to invest in the high-tech sector," he said.
"Taiwan needs specialized committees made up of professional advisors aiding legislators, like in the US," he added.
The former Minister of State left the legislature three years ago to set up the NII funded by Taiwan's private sector.
Standardization continues to be a significant obstacle to implementing an e-supply chain, said CW Lin (
"Our main problem is standardization, which applies across the board, whether it's our own supply chain, or the Taiweb, or other relationships across the Internet. For example, Intel is one of our suppliers but they have a better system than we have. So we're watching the moves of the major companies to create a common format for supply chains.
Lin added that a lack of information resource planning by a firm's downstream suppliers of computer parts was a major obstacle to creating an e-supply chain.
"NT$1.7 billion of our NT$2 billion revenue last year depended directly on our suppliers. But around half of them have no enterprise resource planning and only have a management information system at best," Lin said.
Tom Sun (
"Our approach is to basically tie partnerships to an e-business infrastructure wherein we can start to plan together. Once you have planning you have commitment and then you have trust," Sun said.
By October at the latest, all of Motorola's future product releases will be from its Internet Appliances (IAs) range, which begins with its new Taichi model due next month, Sun said.
IAs -- which allow consumers access to the Internet without using a computer -- have been widely touted as the hot product of the new century. In contrast to Taiwan's history as a chip manufacturing and parts assembly center for overseas computer conglomerates, e-supply chain development in the IA market would be on Taiwan's terms, PwC's Moran said.
"In IA, the Taiwanese are saying: `We'll do it our own way. We'll team up with others but will drive the development of the market.' The question is what does Taiwan want to be famous for in the new world. If you have a good idea and the right people there's a massive amount of money available today," he said.
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