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Taiwan firms revamp strategies

AS orders from North America and Europe shrink amid the global downturn, many Taiwan businesses are restructuring their strategies and the Chinese mainland market is moving up in their agenda.

Tu Chi-bing runs an aluminium alloy plate factory for Taiwan-based bicycle company Giant in Kunshan in Jiangsu Province, which produces 40,000 tons of plates annually. While a large portion of the products is sold to developed countries, he found that the business potential in the mainland's commercial aircraft industry has just taken off.

The mainland is investing about 200 billion yuan (US$29 billion) in developing a domestic jumbo jet, according to Zhang Qingwei, chairman of the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China. They are expected to be delivered to customers by 2016.

"My company can supply quality aluminium alloy plates for this project," Tu said.

Li Fei, a professor at the Taiwan Research Institute of Xiamen University, said a trend could be seen that ''both Taiwan and mainland businesses are trying to find a way to integrate industries so that they can benefit from each other's advantages."

Taiwan and mainland businesspeople have been busy talking with each other since the beginning of this year. In February, telecommunication companies from both sides held a forum in Chongqing to discuss industry standards that can be applied on both sides. A month later, LED solar lamp producers met in Taipei to seek opportunities for cooperation.

Some Taiwan companies are moving their factories from more developed coastal areas to the interior, and not only for the sake of cutting labor costs.

"It will also help us expand the mainland market," said Lin Shean-jhang, deputy president of Guangzhou Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises, who runs a mineral company in Guangzhou.


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