The Ministry of Economic Affairs is to assist companies in traditional manufacturing sectors cope with raw material shortages amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday.
“While the current effects are still limited ... some of our local manufacturers may soon run low on [raw materials],” Shen told reporters after a meeting with manufacturing industry representatives, pointing to recent supply chain disruptions across China, where production was suspended last month and January due to the outbreak.
Encompassing most of the secondary sector of Taiwan’s economy, traditional industries — such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, textile, petrochemicals, glass and cement — produce essentials used in housing, dining, clothing and healthcare.
Photo: Huang Pei-chun, Taipei Times
The combined output value of companies in these industries is estimated at NT$5.4 trillion (US$178.75 billion) a year, ministry data show.
The ministry would help accelerate inspections for faster raw materials imports, Shen said.
“Now it’s a question of speed... it [imports and exports] must be quicker,” he said, adding that the nation’s food supply remains stable.
Local manufacturers have also asked the government to loosen regulations on employee working hours, Shen said.
Meanwhile, businesses are raising fears over a potential credit crunch, he said.
Those fears are far from unfounded as a recent drop in crude oil prices sent shock waves across global markets.
Markets from the US to Europe, which have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, on Thursday experienced one of the greatest declines in decades.
Shen said that “the drop in oil prices should relieve some of the burden [on domestic demand],” but added that high volatility in US and European markets would affect global demand, which needs to be “closely observed.”
In other news, the ministry yesterday said it approved the applications of seven small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in a government plan aimed at stimulating investments in the nation.
The following companies, specializing in plastic recycling, metal components and machinery equipment, are combined to invest more than NT$3.8 billion to expand domestic production: Young Iee Environmental Technology Co Ltd (永溢環保), Jenn Lih Machinery Manufacturing Corp (震勵機械), Fu Lung Aluminum Technology Ltd (福隆鋁業), Long Tai Copper Corp (隴鈦銅器), Sheng-Hsin Machine Industry Co Ltd (勝新機械), Lee Dan Electronic Technology Co Ltd (利電電機) and Gus Technology Co Ltd (格斯科技).
The ministry has to date approved applications from 169 companies seeking to invest a total of NT$78.4 billion as part of the plan.
From India to China to the US, automakers cannot make vehicles — not that no one wants any, but because a more than US$450 billion industry for semiconductors got blindsided. How did both sides end up here? Over the past two weeks, automakers across the world have bemoaned the shortage of chips. Germany’s Audi, owned by Volkswagen AG, would delay making some of its high-end vehicles because of what chief executive officer Markus Duesmann called a “massive” shortfall in an interview with the Financial Times. The firm has furloughed more than 10,000 workers and reined in production. That is a further blow
MOBILE SMART: The Dimensity 1200 is 22 percent better in terms of performance than its predecessor, and 25 percent more power-efficient, the handset chip designer said MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday unveiled its premium 5G processors — the Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100 — as it vies for a larger slice of the world’s rapidly growing 5G smartphone market. Manufactured using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (台積電) 6-nanometer process technology, the Dimensity 1200 processor performs 22 percent better than the previous generation Dimensity 1000+ processor, and is 25 percent more power-efficient, MediaTek said. Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi Corp (小米) and Realme Mobile Telecommunications (Shenzhen) Co (銳爾覓移動通信) are to be the first adopters of the latest Dimensity chips, the companies said during a virtual media briefing. Xiaomi plans to equip its first
‘BROAD RANGE’: The US Department of Commerce intends to deny a significant number of license requests for exports to Huawei, an industry association said US President Donald Trump’s administration notified Huawei Technologies Co (華為) suppliers, including chipmaker Intel Corp, that it is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company and intends to reject dozens of other applications to supply the telecommunications firm, people familiar with the matter told reporters. The action — likely the last against Huawei under Trump — is the latest in a long-running effort to weaken the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which Washington sees as a national security threat. The notices came amid a flurry of US efforts against China in the final days of Trump’s administration. US president-elect Joe
Answering to a reported request by Germany to help address a chip shortage in its auto industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that it was in talks with domestic chip suppliers. Foreign media over the weekend reported that German Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier had sent a request to Taipei to ask Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to cooperate more closely with German automakers to provide microchips and sensors, to bridge a shortage that has emerged over the past few months. The MOEA said that it had not yet received the request and could therefore not elaborate