Taiwan’s machine tool exports are expected to get a “transformational boost” should Taiwan join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders’ Association said yesterday.
Speaking at the release of the association’s first white paper, Goodway Machine Corp (程泰機械) chairman Edward Yang (楊德華), the association’s founding chairman, said that Taiwan’s machine tool industry is experiencing a year of robust orders, but it also faces headwinds.
“We have faced the unfortunate triple effect of high commodity prices, soaring shipping rates and a strengthening New Taiwan dollar, but orders are heating up,” Yang said.
Photo: Lin Jin-hua, Taipei Times
“It is imperative that Taiwan joins the CPTPP,” he said, adding that membership in the bloc would save the nation’s exporters onerous tariffs and give the industry a “transformational boost.”
Many countries levy tariffs of 4 to 5 percent on Taiwanese machine tools, Yang said.
Compared with competitors in South Korea and Japan, Taiwanese manufacturers bear a “double whammy” of a highly appraised currency and not being a member of the CPTPP, he said.
“We’re shut out of the [China-led] Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,” Yang said. “The CPTPP is our chance to turn it around.”
Association chairman Habor Hsu (許文憲) said that despite negative factors, this year has been a return to form for the local machine tool industry.
“Our group predicts a 30 percent annual growth in production value for this year, and it looks like meeting that goal will not be a problem,” Hsu said, adding that as of August, the industry’s total output had increased 25 percent year-on-year.
The association predicted that machine tool exports would reach US$2.7 billion this year, up 25 percent year-on-year, and is expecting a further 30 percent increase next year, which would take the industry back to its pre-COVID-19 pandemic level.
The association released its first white paper to gear up the industry for increased automation and high-value-added products, Hsu said.
“The machine tool industry is the mother industry that all other industries, including semiconductors, green energy and consumer electronics, rely on,” Hsu said.
Urging the government to focus more on the sector, Hsu said: “Instead of focusing on gross profit, we want to move toward smart production and automation, and develop a higher-value-added industry.”
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