MOEA pushes for cross-strait panel field partnership

By John Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A partnership should be formed for the panel industry across the strait, establishing a uniform standard and cooperation platforms, Economics Minister John Deng (鄧振中) said yesterday. This endeavor will improve the domestic environment and provide incentives for companies to stay in Taiwan, Deng said at the opening ceremony of Touch Taiwan 2015, a display panel and optical film exhibition held in Taipei. “Against the backdrop of a fast-changing and challenging industrial environment, the Economics Ministry will not only continuously enable cross-strait collaboration via cooperation platforms, but push for creative application together.” In addition, the ministry will push for more exchange with trade groups from emerging countries, connecting regional brands and contract manufacturers to help Taiwan’s panel business increase export outlets. Other government measures include assisting the panel industry to protect patent technologies and cultivate and retain talent, Deng said. China’s panel industry has indicated its intention to ramp up cross-strait cooperation. At yesterday’s opening ceremony, Bai Weimin (白為民), vice president of the China Video Industry Association and also known as China’s “panel queen,” said China would place more orders this year than it did last year, especially of smart products and high-resolution panels. As of now, industries across the strait are cooperating with and complimenting each other, Bai said, adding that because of this joint effort, related technologies are continuously innovating.  Bai announced in May that orders worth US$4.5 billion would be placed from Taiwanese manufacturers this year. Panel Maker AUO Remains Conservative Research and development as well as innovation are critical driving force in the panel industry; its products are connected to people’s everyday life, Economics Minister Deng said. Taiwanese panel makers have placed greater focus on large-size and high-resolution panels in recent years, bringing quality products to the world. Besides smartphone panels, larger 65-inch and 85-inch panels made by Innolux Corp. (群創) and AU Optronics Corp. (友達) are also focal points of the panel expo.

AUO Chairman Paul Peng (彭雙浪), who also attended yesterday’s Touch Taiwan 2015 exhibition, said the company has shifted focus from mass production to advance technology development. In the old business model, panel makers competed on production capacity and quantity, Peng said, adding that the new focus is on improving technology, which will lead to higher profitability.  The panel industry faced a “winter” economic climate in the first half of the year, Peng said. While the second half of the year is usually considered the peak season for the industry, Peng only forecast an “autumn” climate.  Things will turn better after inventory adjustment, Peng said. Although there has been reduction in panel prices and shipment, AUO’s situation is much better than it was during the financial crisis, said the company’s head.