Taiwanese firms mull moving to Malaysia
Published on: Saturday, May 18, 2019

Kuala Lumpur: Amid the ongoing US-China trade tensions, many Taiwanese companies are opting to leave China by either returning to Taiwan or scouting for suitable sites in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia.

According to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra), Taiwan’s trade promotion agency, there are some 80,000 Taiwanese companies, many of which are small, operating on mainland China.

A large number of them manufacture or deal with machinery products, electronics and automation, supplying to a host of industries such as automotive and aerospace.

Coincidentally, the automotive and aerospace industries are also high on Malaysia’s list of priority industries.

Thus there is what Taiwanese corporate executives describe as a “good fit” with Malaysian companies, which are trying to assert their global position in these industries.

In an interview with Bernama in Taipei, Taitra President and Chief Executive Officer Walter Yeh pointed out that Taiwan’s two leading industries are information technology (IT) and machine-building industries.

“As the world’s fourth largest exporter of machine tools and components, Taiwan has averaged US$4 billion in exports of these products for each of the last few years from a network of more than 1,000 precision machinery manufacturers and 10,000 plus downstream suppliers,” he said.

Since the ongoing US-China trade war has unnerved many buyers and sellers, given the globalised character of supply chains, Taiwanese companies are looking for alternative sites for their new start-up operations.

This is in line with the Taiwanese government’s New Southbound Policy, which essentially focuses on cooperation with the Asean member states and also India. The policy is designed to reduce the dependence on China and tap the huge economic and trade potential inherent in the Asean region, particularly Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Viet


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