James Renwick, The China Post
New statistics were made public yesterday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) showing that 3,144 factories on the island closed during the first six months of this year, up 55.3 percent from the number one year ago.
An economics ministry official blamed the prolonged economic slump for forcing many Taiwan manufacturers to either relocate their facilities to the mainland where labor and land costs are cheaper, or go out of business.
The number of firms registering new factories with the government has also dropped. During the first half of last year, 2,758 factories were added to the total number of factories in Taiwan. However, this year so far the number stands at only 2,017.
The official added that he thought the real number of factory closures, mostly in the traditional manufacturing sector, were actually much higher than official statistics revealed because many firms had not registered with the government. Latest figures show that during June alone, 233 factories closed while 381 were newly established. In contrast, for the same month last year 310 factories closed their doors but 560 new ones were established.