Most US companies in Taiwan are upbeat about revenue growth this year and the next three years, as the local economy is expected to continue benefiting from strong demand for technology products amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (AmCham) said yesterday.
“Despite the severe challenges faced by businesses and markets around the world, member firms are feeling overwhelmingly optimistic about the year ahead and over a three-year timespan,” AmCham president Leo Seewald said upon releasing the results of an annual business climate survey.
The survey found that 82 percent of US companies are confident about revenue growth over the next 12 months and nearly 84 percent demonstrate similar optimism regarding the next three years.
The results showed that member firms across sectors expect healthy earnings, Seewald said, citing the survey conducted between Nov. 12 and Dec. 31 last year.
About 86 percent hold rosy outlooks for economic growth in Taiwan this year and more than 78 percent are expecting a sanguine landscape over the next three years, Seewald said.
The figures show that optimism has reached an all-time high, up from about 60 percent last year, with one survey respondent saying that Taiwan’s ability to contain the spread of COVID-19 last year would benefit firms’ ability to boost their sales.
The effective virus control also lays the foundation for a healthy environment for companies to operate, another respondent said.
Unsurprisingly, 96 percent of respondents said that they are so far satisfied with the government’s efforts to rein in COVID-19.
As of yesterday, Taiwan had 872 confirmed cases and seven deaths, compared with the worldwide toll of 96.94 million infections and 2.08 million deaths.
Still, more than 80 percent of respondents said that the pandemic has negatively affected their local business, mainly seen in disruptions to travel and event plans, declines in demand for products and services, and bottlenecked supply chains, it said.
The trade group of 1,000 members from 500 companies called on the government to introduce travel bubbles or shorten quarantines for business travelers, as well as provide financial assistance and tax benefits to affected industries.
AmCham members are less worried about ending nuclear power by 2025, but 65 percent of respondents remained concerned about voltage stability and electricity costs, Seewald said, adding that high-tech firms are heavy energy consumers and many deem Taiwan as a reliable partner to do business with.
The government should come up with a concrete guarantee that the migration to green energy would not cause disruptions, because high-tech firms cannot afford any, Seewald said.
English-language ability poses another challenge to foreign companies seeking to invest locally, because fewer workers in Taiwan can communicate fluently in English, compared with workers in Hong Kong and Singapore, he said.
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