Taiwanese backlight module maker Darwin Precisions Corp (達運精密) has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$33.79 million) to expand its production capacity in Taiwan as part of the government’s Invest in Taiwan initiative, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Darwin’s primary products are backlight modules, panel modules used in LCD TVs and precision components. The firm’s customers include AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), Sony Corp, Samsung Electronics Co and LG Electronics Co.
The company plans to set up automated production at its three existing facilities in Taichung and Hsinchu, while expanding production scale and developing high value-added products, such as active-matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) displays, the ministry said.
The investment is expected to create 142 jobs, it added.
Increasing trade tensions between China and the US and post COVID-19 uncertainty have drawn more companies to look to Taiwan as a place to invest, said Ho Kun-sung (何坤松), chief operating officer and spokesman for the ministry’s InvesTaiwan Service Center.
Qualified companies receive help with bank loans, as well as assistance with finding the right site or suitable talent if needed, Ho said.
Darwin chief financial officer and spokesman Cathay Ching (荊國泰) said the government assistance played a minor role in the company’s latest investment decision.
“It is a supplement, but we have a lot of other considerations for expanding our production in Taiwan,” Ching told the Taipei Times.
Darwin said that its operations in Taiwan account for less than 20 percent of its total revenue, with the majority coming from China.
Aside from seeking to stabilize supply and reduce risks amid China-US trade tensions, Darwin aims to keep “sensitive” production in Taiwan, Ching said, citing the company’s desire to keep proprietary technologies at home.
“There are some technologies and resources, such as our fine-metal-mask production, that we will always keep in Taiwan,” he said.
“You can say we are coming back to Taiwan, but really we never left,” Ching said.
RESTRUCTURING: Taichung and Taoyuan profited most from local firms moving back high-end manufacturing amid the US-China decoupling of trade ties, the ministry said The government’s “Invest in Taiwan” initiative might this year see NT$627.1 billion (US$21.7 billion) of investment pledges realized, with several firms raising stakes and two dropouts due to customer losses, Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday. Wang made the statement at the monthly meeting of the Third Wednesday Club, a local trade group featuring the top 100 firms of each business sector. Since early last year, the government has launched three programs intended to help local companies grapple with US-China trade rows and the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly through moving production lines back to Taiwan. Thus far, the ministry
JOBS AT RISK? Most Cathay Dragon routes are to be operated by Cathay Pacific or a subsidiary, but it was unclear how Taiwanese workers would be affected Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) yesterday said it is planning new flight services for Taiwan as it announced a corporate restructuring that included the shutdown of its regional subsidiary, Cathay Dragon (國泰港龍), and could lead to job cuts in Taiwan. Cathay Pacific said the shutdown means that the one round-trip service between Taichung and Hong Kong per day and seven round-trip services between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong operated by Cathay Dragon prior to the COVID-19 pandemic would be terminated. “The parent company is planning a new schedule between Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Cathay Pacific assistant manager for corporate communications Moses Hou (侯恩錫)
OVERHEATED MARKET?: The gauge would be designed to provide more reliable information than private-sector data, and help improve policymaking, the council said The National Development Council (NDC) is considering creating a business climate index on Taiwan’s property market, allowing policymakers to better monitor market movements and intervene if necessary, NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said yesterday. Kung made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Committee where lawmakers from across party lines voiced concerns about housing price hikes driven by capital repatriation. Kung said that the council is assessing the possibility of creating an index designed to provide more accountable and transparent information than data provided by private-sector market analysts, and could help improve policymaking. The council would compile a report on
STOCK MARKETS TAIEX closes slightly higher The TAIEX closed slightly higher yesterday as market sentiment remained cautious over the Nov. 3 US presidential election. Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was again the anchor stabilizing the broader market, preventing the main board from falling into negative territory at the end of the session, dealers said. The TAIEX closed up 14.88 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,877.25, on turnover of NT$167.982 billion (US$5.81 billion). TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rose 0.44 percent after fluctuating between NT$451 and NT$456. The semiconductor subindex and the bellwether electronics sector