Leading industrialists yesterday called on the government to keep relief and stimulus measures alive, saying that tough times lie ahead as local tech firms would be digesting rush orders toward the end of this quarter, because of remote working and telecommuting trends.
Rock Hsu (許勝雄), chairman of the Third Wednesday Club (三三會), whose membership is limited to the top 100 firms in each business sector, spoke to reporters prior to a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in Taipei.
“The government had better prepare an extended version of relief and stimulus measures, as the industry will need it after fulfilling orders” to make chips for electronic parts used in laptops, desktops, TVs and other products, Hsu said.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
Local technology firms have benefited from a surge in demand for devices that have enabled companies and schools around the world to operate, despite travel inconveniences and social distancing, said Hsu, who is chairman of contract notebook maker Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦).
Such rush orders would come to an end later this quarter, making the fourth quarter — normally the high sales season — a tough challenge, he said, adding that the global economy is still in a shambles.
Major tech firms have declined to give business guidance beyond the current quarter, citing poor order visibility.
The US’ Apple Inc has said that it would postpone new iPhone releases and China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is reportedly is slowing its deployment of 5G products after a Washington ban has limited it from obtaining foreign-made chips developed or produced using US software or technology.
Manufacturers of mineral, plastic, base metal and other non-tech products would also continue to struggle due to sluggish demand, Hsu said.
Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (工商協進會) chairman Lin Por-fong (林伯豐) said that there is still ample room for the government to augment relief and stimulus measures, which currently stand at 6.6 percent of GDP, while packages in other countries account for more than 10 percent of GDP.
The government could do so by lowering the business tax or sparing companies the levy on retained earnings, at least temporarily, Lin said.
Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) said that the government could consider issuing a second batch of Triple Stimulus Vouchers to shore up domestic demand if its budget allows.
Most business tycoons painted the plans by the Ministry of Labor to raise monthly basic wages by NT$200 to NT$24,000 as unfavorable, but bearable.
The wage adjustments must still be approved by the Cabinet.
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