The production value of Taiwan’s flat-panel display industry broke through the New Taiwanese $1 trillion mark (US$30.1 billion) for the first time in October, and the island believes there’s plenty of room to grow.
By the end of this year, the total value of production in the industry for 2006 should hit NT$1.28 trillion, up from NT$972 billion last year, according to government figures.
The soaring value is the result of years of government effort to build and nurture the industry in Taiwan, analysts say. Government incentives such as low land rental fees in technology parks, subsidized electricity and water, and reduced taxes have attracted investment dollars from Taiwanese and foreign groups alike.
The massive emphasis on the industry has lifted the island to the top of the LCD panel industry. The island accounts for 50 percent of the world’s LCD panels, the screen part of flat monitors, laptops, LCD-TVs and other devices, according to the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center, a publicly funded researcher in Taiwan. South Korea is second with a 39 percent share.
The government hopes to attract new investment in flat-display production equipment, and increase LCD industry production to NT$2 trillion by 2015, said Shih Yen-shiang, vice minister of economics, at a celebration ceremony Thursday night. The government hopes more production line equipment makers invest in the island, and that local companies start making more display-related machines as well.
In LCD manufacturing equipment alone, market revenue will reach US$11.79 billion this year, according to market researcher DisplaySearch.
The island has been the target of huge investment for flat-panel displays in recent years, NT$900 trillion, according to government estimates. One of the biggest foreign investors has been Corning, the U.S. maker of LCD glass substrates. Late last year, the company completed a US$1.5 billion glass substrate plant in Taichung, Taiwan. It has a similar factory in a technology park near the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan.
-Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service (Taipei Bureau)
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