Service industry becoming more adept with PCs cellphones: CEPD

Cathy Chou, The China Post

The Council of Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) yesterday said the rise of individuals’ use of cellphones and personal computers has prompted the service industry to offer more services through the Internet, implying that the service industry is becoming more digitized. The report also showed that the penetration rate of cellphones in Taiwan grew to 96.5 percent in 2001, up 21 percent from the year before. According to the CEPD report, Taiwan has the world’s second highest cellphone penetration rate, trailing only Luxembourg. “It is time for Taiwan to revise its business structures and focus more on the information industry,” officials at the CEPD said. Over the years, the CEPD noticed, consumption in Taiwan has changed in two major ways: more money was spent on health, entertainment and communications, while less was spent on food. Food purchases made up 30 percent of consumer spending in 1987, but that figure shrank to 21.3 percent last year. Entertainment spending expanded from 17.5 percent in 1987 to 18.1 percent in 2001. Communications spending increased from 9.3 percent to 12.2 percent during the same period.

“These changes suggest the potential for growth of the entertainment and communications sectors in the near future,” it said. In 1998, 232.2 residents out of 1,000 owned personal computers, a ratio close to Japan’s. The penetration rate of PCs in Taiwan should become higher over the next few years, added the CEPD.