Melania Trump Club

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taiwan stocks hit 1-wk closing high led by Cathay

TAIPEI, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Taiwan stocks inched up 0.09
percent to end at a one-week closing high on Thursday, led by
Cathay Financial (2882.TW) after sources told Reuters that
China's ICBC (1398.HK) was in talks to buy a 20 percent stake of
Cathay in a potential $3.4 billion deal. The main TAIEX share index rose 7.05 points to
7,684.67, its highest finish since Nov 26. Cathay, Taiwan's top listed financial holding firm, advanced
3 percent, pushing the financial sub-index .TFNI 0.95 percent
higher. For a table of foreign trading in Taiwan stocks, double-click
on [ID:nTP170358] (Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)
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Taiwan's Hon Hai to buy Dell factory in Poland

TAIPEI, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Hon Hai Precision (2317.TW), Taiwan's largest electronics parts maker, has signed a deal to buy Dell's (DELL.O) factory in Poland to produce desktop computers, servers and other storage devices.

In a statement published late on Wednesday, Hon Hai said PCE Paragon Solutions Kft., one of its units, has signed a contract to buy the facility with Dell Global B.V. and Dell International Holdings VIII B.V., and that the parties would complete the sale late next year.

Hon Hai declined to provide financial terms or further details, but the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported on Thursday that Hon Hai could spend less than T$10 billion ($310 million) on the purchase.

Officials at Dell's Taipei office were not immediately available for comment.

Hon Hai is a key supplier to many of the world's top technology brands, which typically do their own design work but outsource the labour-intensive manufacturing process to contract makers.

Hon Hai shares were up 0.7 percent in early trade on Thursday, consistent with the broad market .

(Reporting by Ralph Jennings and Argin Chang; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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Voters can check PRC political pressure

The seven million Taiwan citizens who vote in Saturday's "three - in - one" local elections should keep in mind that their ballots will be seen globally as well as domestically as a confidence vote in the China-tilting policies of President Ma Ying-jeou and his right-wing Chinese Nationalist Party government.
Among the interested observers will be the leadership of the People's Republic of China's ruling Chinese Communist Party, who are already pushing to include political issues in the talks between the KMT and the CCP after the signing of nine agreements on economic and transportation and legal issues and the launching of talks toward an comprehensive "economic cooperation framework agreement" (ECFA).

The cross-strait "reconciliation" pushed by Ma since taking office in May 2008 appeared to hit a couple of potholes this fall with controversies over the invitation by opposition Democratic Progressive Party mayors to the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan in early September and the showing of a documentary on the exiled Uygur rights activist Rebiya Kadeer in the Kaohsiung Film Festival and a series of retaliatory cancellations of Chinese tour groups.

Instead of resisting the PRC's high-handed attempts to interfere with freedom of speech in Taiwan, the spectre of Beijing's anger promoted Ma to make even more concessions, including the prompt signing of a memorandum of understanding on financial services and a decision to sign the controversial ECFA by next May.

Politics takes command

Just days before the MOU was finalized on November 16, former CCP Central Party School vice president Zheng Bijian, a close confidant of CCP General Secretary and PRC State Chairman Hu Jintao, led a high-powered delegation of "scholar officials" to ostensibly participate in a conference on the past 60 years of cross-strait relations.

Zheng's visit was preceded by a massive 4,000 delegation led by PRC Jiangsu Province CCP Party Secretary Liang Baohua November 9, who claimed to purchase over US$4.1 billion in Taiwan products, but the political weight of Liang's deceptive "buy Taiwan" group was "as light as a feather" compared to Zheng's 28 - person delegation, which was politically "heavier than Mount Tai."

Indeed, Zheng and his colleagues delivered the most comprehensive and authoritative presentation of the CCP's positions on cross-strait political, economic, cultural, diplomatic and military issues, including sensitive topics such as Taiwan's international space, bilateral military confidence building mechanisms (CBMs) and a cross-strait "peace" pact, during which the PRC "scholars" openly manifested Beijing's definition of "peace" as Taiwan's acceptance of "unification."

The CCP's intention to pick up the pace from "economics first" to "politics next" should have come as no surprise to the Ma administration or Taiwan citizens since the "six points" enunciated by Hu himself last

December 31 included the intention to "explore the establishment of military confidence building and other mutually beneficial mechanisms for the sake of stabilizing the situation in the Taiwan Strait."

In other words, once economic and other "pragmatic" issues had been resolved to a certain extent, the further deepening of cross-strait "peaceful development" would inevitably encounter political bottlenecks, notably the PRC's evident concern for an agreement to "end cross-strait hostilities" and establish military CBMs to emasculate Taiwan's self-defense capability.

In the face of Beijing's proposals, the Ma government, perhaps mindful of its plunging approval ratings, has responded with some hesitation and has indicated in typical ostrich-fashion that it prefers to focus on economic consultations.

Although the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council declined comment on the "private" visit, it is obvious that, as one of Hu's confidants, Zheng's open promotion of Beijing's "one country, two systems" formula for political integration and his strident denunciation of "Taiwan independence" as having been rejected by mainstream Taiwan opinion and as "certain to fail" were surely not made in an "unofficial" capacity.

Despite the "excellent state" of cross-strait relations, the PRC has not ceased to denigrate Taiwan internationally, as shown in the joint statement between Hu and U.S. President Barack Obama in Beijing last month which contained Washington's approval of "political dialogue."

Indeed, the CCP leadership has perceived Ma's weakness as a leader, as shown his inability to prevent strong breakaway mayoral bids in Hualien and Hsinchu Counties and his inability withstand external pressure, as shown by his acquiescence to Beijing's "one China" principle and concessions to Washington on imports of "beef offals."

It is worth noting that the PRC has never agreed that any cross-strait "peace pact" or other political or economic agreement can be subject to the ratification by the 23 million Taiwan people and clearly sees brow-beating the Ma and the KMT as sufficient to effect a "final solution" for the "Taiwan problem."

The only means available to check and balance Beijing's political squeeze and force Ma to grow a backbone is to prove that Taiwan's citizens have not "rejected" our right to possess our hard-won people's sovereignty, democracy and economic autonomy and prosperity by delivering a resounding strong vote for DPP candidates Saturday.


Taiwan's AU Optronics says to build LCD plant in Slovakia

AU Optronics president Kuen Yao Lee

BRATISLAVA — Taiwan's hi-tech giant AU Optronics said on Wednesday it would invest 191.3 million euros (288.6 million dollars) in a new plant producing components for liquid crystal displays (LCD) in Slovakia.

"Slovakia will become our main base for the production of LCD components in Europe," AU Optronics president Kuen Yao Lee told journalists.

"Slovakia's location in the centre of Europe was a key factor for the decision," he added after signing an investment contract with the Slovak government.

AU Optronics, the world's third largest LCD maker, expects to start building the plant covering 200,000 square metres in the western Slovak town of Trencin in early 2010.

After the launch of production in the first quarter of 2011, the factory will create 1,300 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs.

Slovakia's government will support the investment with 38.3 million euros in direct stimuli and tax relief.

Slovakia, a country of 5.4 million people which joined the European Union in 2004 and adopted the euro in 2009, is already home to LCD plants run by Japan's Sony Corp. and South-Korea's Samsung Electronics.

AU Optronics' project is the biggest foreign investment in Slovakia since the global economic crisis hit its economy, which leans on cars and electronics production, last year


Taiwan president stumps for local elections

Taipei - Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday urged the electorate to vote for the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in Saturday's local elections, saying only KMT could bring Taiwan peace and prosperity to the country.

Ma made the call in his capacity as party chairman. Analysts see the elections as test of Ma's popularity, a year and a half after he came to power.

'The KMT can deliver Taiwan out of its predicament, can make Taiwan move forward, can bring peace and prosperity to Taiwan,' he said.

Regarding the opposition criticism of KMT candidates' alleged vote buying and his use of government resources to stump for the party, Ma said the KMT was not perfect, but was carrying out reform and correcting mistakes.

Saturday's local elections are to select county magistrates and city mayors, county and city councilors and township chiefs.

The focus is on the election of county magistrates and city mayors - 17 seats in total - because they run Taiwan's local governments.

The KMT holds 13 seats, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party holds three and the New Party holds one.

Analysts said the KMT faces a tough battle in several counties but would not lose many seats.

'Fewer than three seats will change hands,' Niu Tze-hsun, associate professor at the Chinese Cultural University, said.

'The real battle is next year's election of leaders of the five counties and cities which are now combined and will hold a separate election as they are directly governed by the central government,' he said.

'That election will be a rehearsal for the 2012 presidential polls,' Niu said.


Taiwan to hold first national K-1 kickboxing competition

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The 2009 Chinese boxing (San Da) tournament and the first national K-1 kickboxing competition will be held in Taipei Friday, with winners from the past few years competing for the title of the first K-1 king of Taiwan. The Chinese Boxing (San Da) Combat Association, which is organizing the event, has held four national San Da tournaments since it was established in 2003, but has not staged a national K-1 tournament before.

Taiwanese fighter Yang Tong-hsiung, winner of the 2008 K-1 World Grand Prix in Taipei, is seen as one of the front runners in the national competition.

Yang, the winner of the first San-Da tournament in 2005 and holder of the title "King of San-Da in Taiwan, " described K-1 as a sport that requires great endurance.

Yang is very fast and courageous, which makes him a good K-1fighter, according to his Japanese coach.

The“K”in K-1 stands for karate, kickboxing, kung fu and other standup martial arts, and also for "King," said Japan's Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG), the organizer of the 2008 K-1 World GP.

San Da, also known as Chinese kickboxing, is basically kickboxing with throws, and it combines techniques from kung fu, kickboxing and freestyle wrestling.

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Taiwan Universities to Accept Mainland Chinese Degree Students

Taiwan universities plan to allow mainland Chinese students to pursue degrees for the first time next year. The move is the latest barrier to fall as China and Taiwan continue to improve ties.

The plan, which still requires the approval of Taiwan's parliament, will grant eligibility to Chinese students from 41 mainland universities. Currently, Chinese university students can study at Taiwan universities for up to a year, but they can not earn degrees.

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou sees the plan as another step toward improving relations with Beijing, which claims the island as its territory. Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, when Nationalist forces fled there after their defeat by the Communists.

Beijing vows to eventually take control of the island, by force if necessary. For most of the past decade, relations between the two have been strained, but since taking office last year, Ma has taken several steps to improve them, such as allowing more mainland visitors.

Many Taiwan residents, however, are less concerned with relations with Beijing and more about whether the plan will increase competition for university admission and worsen the sluggish job market.

Deputy Minister of Education Lin Tsung-ming says restrictions on Chinese students will ensure that does not happen. Lin says the primary quota set for Chinese students is about two percent of the total number of first year students. And, he says, the Chinese students will pay tuition equivalent to that charged by Taiwan's private universities.

After graduating, Chinese students will be barred from employment in Taiwan. Because of different training requirements in Taiwan, Chinese medical student will not be admitted, and mainland students with military or intelligence training will also not be eligible.

Despite these barriers, Taiwan university administrators, especially those at the more expensive and less competitive private schools, hope the plan will help fill their classrooms. In some private university departments, enrollments are near zero.

Over the past decade, Taiwan went on a university building spree, even though the birth rate has been dwindling for years. The Population Reference Bureau, a Washington research group, ranks Taiwan as having the lowest birth rate in the world with eight births per 1,000 residents annually.

The government projects a third of Taiwan's universities will close by 2021 because of a shortage of students. But Ni Chou-hwa, a section chief at the Ministry of Education, says that is not driving the plan to open universities to mainland students.

Ni says the purpose of accepting Chinese students is to attract and nourish talent, and not to fill up vacancies at those private universities that have low enrollments.

Mainland students give mixed reviews of their experiences studying in Taiwan. Liu Jing-yu is a student at National Taipei University of Technology. Liu says Taiwan has great facilities, better than China, but the students here do not seem to study hard enough.

Gong Yin, another mainland student at the university, says the higher cost of education in Taiwan would be a drawback if she were to return for a degree. She says she would only consider spending lots of money to study in Taiwan if she did not do well on her college entrance exam. But, she says, if she needed to spend lots of money to go to school, why not just go to the United States?

The Ministry of Education's Ni says that Taiwan's schools are affordable. He says tuition at Taiwan universities ranges from US$3,100 to $4,600 a year, compared with around $30,000 in the U.S. and $20,000 in the United Kingdom.

And, he says, National Taiwan University, considered the best on the island, continues to outrank China's best universities. Taiwan, he says, has the ability to attract mainland students.


Taiwan women win first game at East Asian Games

HONG KONG -- Taiwan's women's table tennis team won its first game in the team competition at the 2009 East Asian Games (EAG) in Hong Kong Wednesday, after the men's table tennis team and the women's basketball team lost their games that same day. Taiwan's women beat South Korea 3-2 in the Group B competition and was set to face Hong Kong the following day.

The victory over South Korea was not expected to be easy. Hsu Jung-chan, the team's head coach, said earlier that South Korea had a strong team and that he was not optimistic about the first game because three of the Taiwanese players had begun to suffer cold symptoms.

Earlier in the day, the men's table tennis team lost to South Korea 1-3 in the Group B competition.

Six teams are competing in the women's and men's table tennis competition, with Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong in the same group.

The men's loss means that Taiwan will have a tough job becoming one of the top four teams to make the finals.

In women's basketball, Taiwan lost to China 61-69 in the preliminary round, a loss that was attributed in part to the lower average height of the Taiwanese players — 10 centimeters shorter than the Chinese team. Taiwan scored only 23 rebounds, less than half of China's 47 rebounds, which sealed their defeat.

The Fifth East Asian Games, which began that same day, will run through Dec. 13. Its official opening ceremony will be held Dec. 5.

Around 2,300 athletes from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia and Guam will compete in 262 events encompassing 22 sports, making it the largest international multi-sport event ever held in Hong Kong.

Taiwanese athletes will compete in a record 20 sports, according to Thomas Tsai, president of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee.

In the 2005 Macau EAG, Taiwan competed in 17 sports and came home with 12 gold medals, 34 silvers and 26 bronzes.


Jay Chou is Taiwan's top earning singer

HONG KONG : Singer Jay Chou has once again emerged as the top earning artiste in the Taiwanese music industry, pulling in about 554 million Taiwan dollars (S$23.7 million) in 2009, according to annual industry estimates.

Popular girl group S.H.E takes second place with an estimated income of 360 million Taiwan dollars (S$15.4 million) while Chou's former squeeze, pop princess Jolin Tsai, comes in third, with about 350 million Taiwan dollars (S$15 million).

Other top earners include singers Wang Li Hom, Wilbur Pan, Show Luo and rock band Mayday.

Chou, 30, took home a total of HK$27.5 million (S$4.9 million) for his roles in the films "The Treasure Hunter" and "The Green Hornet". In addition, he also made bank from six corporate appearances, seven concerts and nine commercials as well as his album royalties.

S.H.E made their millions mainly through their appearances in commercials, pocketing a cool 200 million Taiwan dollars (S$8.9 million) from these alone. The group also made money from their 24 performances as well sales of their book and fees for a movie role.

Tsai, 28, who just returned from a three-month hiatus, appeared in 11 commercials, had 24 corporate performances and two concerts in the past year. Her album royalties amounted to 20 million Taiwan dollars (S$850,000).

Singer Elva Hsiao, 30, earned the title of "Comeback Queen" for squeezing into tenth spot after only returning to the music scene in September. She managed to rake in more than HK$25 million (S$4.4 million) within three months of her return


Taiwan designer wins prize in major competition in New York

New York, Dec. 2 (CNA) Taiwanese fashion designer Johan Ku won the top prize Wednesday in the Avant-Garde design category of a major fashion design competition in the U.S. for emerging talent.
Ku, owner of the Johan Ku Design Studio, won award in the 2009 Gen Art's Styles International Design Competition with one of his 2004 designs -- a knitted one-piece wool dress that highlights the delicacy of the yarn and displays creative patterns.
Ku, who is currently studying in London, returned to New York to attend the award ceremony in midtown Manhattan Wednesday evening.
"I'm thrilled to bits, " Ku told the Central News Agency after receiving the prize.
The prize would serve as a stepping stone for him to access the global fashion market, he said, adding that he looks forward to one day having his own brand and finding the right investment partners.

The 30-year-old, who graduated from Taiwan's Shu Te University with a first degree in fashion design and is now in a graduate program at London's Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, expressed thanks to many people, particularly his mother, whom he said "never tried to stop me from pursuing my interests." Wenlan Chia, a renowned Taiwanese fashion designer in New York who was one of the judges of the competition, offered her congratulations to Ku.
"With his talent and perseverance, Ku is set to make his name in the global fashion arena," Chia said.
(By Jaw-Pyng Hwang and Deborah Kuo)


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Taiwan restricts Chinese tourists from political activities

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) Taiwan's National Immigration Agency (NIA) promulgated Wednesday a set of rules defining the scope of activities Chinese tourists can be involved in, listing four forbidden activities for them in Taiwan, including participating in political rallies.
According to the NIA, Chinese visitors in Taiwan are prohibited from taking part in activities harmful to national security, such as participating in political activities, or attending political talk shows and election campaigns. They are also forbidden from working in return for pay.

The rules were announced as Taiwan is seeing an increasing number of Chinese tourists -- an average of 2,518 a day in the first nine months of this year -- after two sides signed an agreement to boost tourism in 2008 and after direct flights between Taiwan and mainland China were expanded in July 2009. In essence, Chinese tourists in Taiwan must abide by the agreement inked by Taiwan and China about Chinese people sightseeing in Taiwan Chiu Hsin-ying, a NIA section chief in charge of inbound and outbound affairs, said.

Although the government has not allowed Chinese people to come to Taiwan on their own without joining tour groups, Chinese tourists currently visiting Taiwan on group tours have free time aside from their tour package itinerary.

In conjunction with Taiwan's authorities, China-based travel agencies are required to introduce the rules to their clients before they come to Taiwan, Chiu said, adding that any Chinese visitor who fails to follow the regulations will be asked to leave Taiwan.

Serious violations will be dealt with by law, Chiu said.

(By S. H. Lin and Flor Wang)


Taiwanese tourism chief departs for China publicity drive

In yet another sign of increasing exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan's tourism chief departed for China yesterday at the head of a large delegation to attend an international travel fair.
It marks the first time that Janice Lai, director-general of the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, has led a tourism promotion delegation to attend a travel fair in China in her capacity as president of the Taipei-based Taiwan Strait Tourism and Travel Association.

Lai said prior to her departure that the delegation will introduce Taiwan's natural scenery and other tourist attractions to prospective Chinese travel buffs and overseas travelers.

The 190-person delegation, composed of representatives of 23 government agencies and business associations, as well as 64 travel agencies and hotel groups, will operate 60 booths in a Taiwan pavilion at the China International Travel Mart (CITM) to be held in Kunmin in the southwestern province of Yunnan from Nov. 19-22.

The CITM is the largest Chinese government-organized annual travel fair and tends to attract more than 100,000 visitors each year. A total of 2,500 booths are expected to showcase tour packages to be offered by about 4,000 exhibitors.

According to Lai, the Taiwanese delegation will organize cross-strait travel sessions for tour operators to discuss business deals during the four-day fair.

In addition, a Taiwan Travel Night program will be staged to present Taiwanese performing arts in which a troupe from southern Taiwan will present Oriental dance and theatrical arts, while several indigenous performing artists will also perform.


Formosa Medical Travel Promotes Taiwan as a World-Class Medical Tourism Destination for Americans, TAITRA Announces

TAIPEI, Taiwan - (Business Wire) Marking another step in the development of Taiwan’s medical tourism industry, TAITRA announces Formosa Medical Travel, the first American-owned and operated medical tourism agency offering service in Taiwan.

“We believe that this is a great step in the emergence of Taiwan as a premier medical tourism destination,” said TAITRA. “Formosa Medical Travel has entered into agreements with three of Taiwan’s major hospitals this year, including Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, and Changhua Christian Hospital. With their comprehensive website and premium level of service, Formosa Medical Travel offers patients an easy way to take advantage of the first-rate, affordable medical care offered in Taiwan.”

Taiwan's healthcare system has long been praised as one of the most efficient in the world, with administrative costs below two percent. “While the debate over healthcare reform in the United States continues, the costs of medical care in Taiwan remain among the lowest in the world,” said Don Gilliland, Chief Operating Officer of Formosa Medical Travel. “For example, the price of total knee replacement surgery at a JCI-accredited hospital in Taiwan, including all surgical costs, VIP accommodations, concierge service, transportation, and round-trip airfare, is generally less than $15,000, while the price in the United States is often upwards of $60,000.”

Medical tourism has surged in recent years, as an increasing number of Americans are turning to lower-cost healthcare overseas as a way to save on medical bills. “Medical tourism is also drawing the attention of self-insured employers and small business owners,” said Gilliland, “because it is an effective way to reduce healthcare costs while still offering first-rate medical care to employees.”

Formosa Medical Travel’s website,, offers patients a simple and comprehensive way to review doctors’ resumes and credentials, hospital accreditations and surgery prices, as well as frequently asked questions and a detailed explanation of procedures. With a simple three-step approach, Formosa Medical Travel assists patients in every step of the medical travel process, from start to finish.

About Formosa Medical Travel

Formosa Medical Travel, an American-owned and operated medical tourism company based in Taipei, works on behalf of American patients seeking high-quality medical care at affordable prices, connecting them with a network of world-class hospitals located in Taiwan. As a full-service medical tourism company, Formosa Medical Travel assists patients in all aspects of the process, from booking surgery and transferring medical records, to assistance in finding air travel and providing personalized concierge service. There is no charge to the patient for these services. To learn more, visit


Founded in 1970 to help promote foreign trade, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is the foremost non-profit trade promotion organization in Taiwan. Jointly sponsored by the government, industry associations, and several commercial organizations, TAITRA assists Taiwan businesses and manufacturers with reinforcing their international competitiveness and in coping with the challenges they face in foreign markets.

TAITRA boasts a well-coordinated trade promotion and information network of over 600 trained specialists stationed at its Taipei headquarters, four local branch offices in Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, and over 48 overseas branch offices worldwide. TAITRA's Service Industry Promotion Center was inaugurated in July 2006 to facilitate the globalization of Taiwan's burgeoning service industry.

Formosa Medical Travel
Tom Griffith (toll-free) 1-866-949-9519
Media Contact:
jean chen


Descendants from China of Taiwanese tribe on roots-tracing visit

Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) Two descendants of Taiwan's indigenous Tsou tribe from a small village in China's Henan Province are currently on a roots-tracing visit to Taiwan to learn more about their tribal heritage and their clan.
Chen Chaohu and Chen Chaojie are visiting Taiwan for the first time and are scheduled to travel to the Tsou tribe's home territory around Taiwan's famous Alishan mountain resort later this week to pay tribute to their ancestors.

The Chen clan can trace its ancestry back 13 generations to Alishan in southern Taiwan's Chiayi County, according to media reports.

The Chens are the 12th-generation offspring of Tsou tribesman Yina Silo, who along with his brother joined the army of Cheng Cheng-Kung (1624-1662), better known in the West as Koxinga, to expel Dutch colonists.


Taiwan promotes tourism at London travel fair

London, Nov. 10 (CNA) Taiwan's representative to the United Kingdom joined a group of travel agents from Taiwan in touting tourism in Taiwan at the 2009 World Travel Market (WTM) trade show in London Tuesday.
Chang Siao-yue told British travel agents and journalists that Taiwan not only offers beautiful scenery and hospitable people, but also Chinese food of the world's highest quality.

It also features a number of must-see sites, including the National Palace Museum in Taipei, which showcases 5,000 years of Chinese history, Chang said.

She said travel between Taiwan and the United Kingdom is expected to become more convenient after EVA Airways increases flights on its Taipei-London route and China Airlines begins flying to London in the near future.

Chang Wei-ting, director of the Taipei Tourism Office in Germany, which is responsible for promoting tourism in Europe, said the global financial crisis has had an impact on the travel industry, with the number of U.K. tourists to Taiwan decreasing 8 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of this year to 33,000.

He stressed, however, that this is the first year since 1972 in which more U.K. citizens have visited Taiwan for pleasure than for business purposes, citing Tourism Bureau statistics.

The annual WTM is one of the biggest travel industry events in the world. This year's event is being held until Nov. 12, gathering travel professionals from 187 countries.

(By Jennifer Huang and Y.F. Low)


Travel Postcard: Hiking around Jade Mountain, Taiwan

TAIPEI, Nov 20 (Reuters Life!) - Jade Mountain, northeast Asia's highest peak and Taiwan's sole finalist for a "New 7 Wonders of the World" award, remains an alluring mystery due to its remoteness and tough permitting rules.

But even a hastily planned, permit-less weekend trip can take travellers close enough to the top to see much of what makes the the 3,952-metre (12,965-foot) peak and the surrounding 100,000 hectare (247,100 acres) national park worth being considered a world wonder.

The mountain is also known as Mount Yu or Yushan, and the park is Taiwan's largest remaining tract of wilderness, valued for its pristine forests and diversity.

From outside Taiwan, fly to Taipei or Kaohsiung and get a high-speed rail train to Chiayi station, where buses leave every 30 minutes for the popular forest recreation spot Alishan.

Spend the night at Alishan, where accommodation ranges from the full-service Alishan House hotel to smaller inns near the bus parking lot. Earlier arrivals can hire a same-day taxi to the Dongpu Lodge, which offers about 200 dormitory-style beds. It is the only public lodging inside the park.

The next day, hire a taxi for T$300 (about $9) to the Jade Mountain Tataka Visitor Center, a hub for about 7 km (4.4 miles) of hiking trails that lose themselves in quiet coniferous forests punctuated by Formosan macaque chatter.

Trails to the peak require permits arranged at least a month in advance, but the hiking network is open to anyone at any time. For visitors seeking a permit before arriving in Taiwan, visit for details.

At the visitor centre, open all year, ask for trail maps, film clips, personalised introductions from park staff and the latest weather, which can change fast from warm sun to rain to snow or fog that blots out any chance of a peak view.

The visitor centre also serves a light lunch.

In the afternoon, hike 3.5 km (2 miles) via forest road and trails to Lulin Mountain, a vertical gain of about 240 metres (787 ft), for a view of Jade Mountain's highest peaks, which can be capped by shiny winter snow or a green, jade-like radiance near the high treeline during summer months.

"I think outside the immediate region no one knows Taiwan has anything like this natural world wonder," said Tia Viering, spokeswoman for the foundation.

Hike out 1.8 km (1.2 miles) to the Mount Lulin trailhead. Unless overnighting at Dongpu Lodge, call for a taxi back to Alishan and dine at Alishan House's Chinese-style restaurant. Retire early, as you'll need your strength.

Start out your third day by packing a sack of trail foods, and then take a taxi to Jade Mountain, spending the morning at the Taiwan Hemlock Forest about 1.4 km (1 mile) from the Paiyun Visitor Center. The park brochure compares foggy days in the forest to a Chinese landscape painting.


Taiwan economy on course to moderate recovery

BEIJING, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan's sluggish economy is looking to a year-end recovery as the prosperity indicators picked up recently, but analysts say it still has a long way to go before back to the pre-crisis level.

The island's economic boom index bounced back to the green-light zone in November, after stagnation in 18 consecutive months, caused by the global economic downturn.

At the end of November, Taiwan's statistics authority raised its 2009 growth forecast to minus 2.53 percent, 1.5 percentage point higher than the estimate in August.

The authority predicted the island's economic growth rate to reach 4.39 percent next year.

Taiwan's statistics authority chief Shih Su-mei said, "Considering the export is rallying, Taiwan will have a moderate growth next year."

Analysts say Taiwan's export will continue to be boosted by demand from such emerging markets as the Chinese mainland during the fourth quarter of this year.

Hsu Sheng-hsiung, honorary director-general of the Taiwan Importers and Exporters Chamber of Commerce, said indicators showed Taiwan's economy was bottoming out and picking up as a whole.

However, analysts believe the recovery of this round lacked solid foundation because the employment and consumption indicators showed no signs of noticeable return.

Unemployment rate dropped in October only by a small margin to 5.96 percent, showing no clear evidence of employment recovery.

On Nov. 28, Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou called on people to "spend more to help the market recover", as worries remain of spreading A/H1N1 flu and the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot in August, which may affect consumer confidence.


African Business Visit - 2009 Taiwan Trade Mission to Algeria, Morocco and Ethiopia

The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), a premier trade promotion organization, will lead a delegation consisting of 30 Taiwanese companies to visit Algeria, Morocco and Ethiopia from 5th to 17th December. The purpose of this visit is to explore the various trade opportunities in these markets. TAITRA will also seize the chance to strengthen cooperative ties with its African partners.

According to WTO 2008, Taiwan was ranked the 18th largest export country with an export value of US$255.6 billion dollars. Taiwanese products and services are widely praised for their excellent quality, innovative features and reasonable prices. Buyers can count on Taiwan to provide professional skills and timely delivery. As a leading supplier in the global marketplace, Taiwanese enterprises utilize extensive experience, superb expertise, and unbendable determination to meet individual customer needs.

In order to satisfy the sourcing requirements of buyers from this region, the mission will hold a trade meeting session in each of these three countries, and present selected samples of the most innovative and state-of-the-art products. Through this trade mission, local businesspeople will have a unique opportunity to meet Taiwanese delegates to discuss possible business cooperation.

The dates and locations for the trade meeting sessions are as follows:

Dec. 7th, Hotel Hilton Algiers (Algiers, Algeria)

10th, Le Meridien Royal Mansour Hotel Casablanca (Casablanca, Morocco)

14th, Hotel Hilton Addis Ababa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Since the Taiwanese firms participating in this mission are from different industries, local visitors will be able to see an extensive range of products, including top quality computer and accessories, whole line equipment for mineral water and juice, tools, machinery, auto parts and accessories, electrical and electronic components, artificial leather and fabrics, textiles and accessories, building material, window covering, pp mat making plant, aluminum panel, consumer products, and much more.

TAITRA would like to encourage all interested parties to log onto and make online appointments with the Taiwanese delegates. Or they can contact the following offices for further information. Moreover, people who cannot make it to trade meetings may log onto Taiwantrade (, a powerful B2B website featuring over 90,000 Taiwanese suppliers and their online catalogs.


Taiwan rebar export faces challenges

Taiwan's rebar mills said that they received many rebar orders during January to September 2009 period.

The shipments of rebar had reached 380,000 tonnes. However, Taiwan's rebar producers are facing the big competitors, China and Korea, after the fourth quarter.

According to the market news, Korea and China only offer USD 500 per tonne, while Taiwan’s rebar price is being quoted at USD 505 per tonne.

POLL-Taiwan Oct export orders seen up, first rise in 13 mths

What/When: Taiwan October orders on Nov 23 at 0800 GMT

* Outcome: Orders likely up 4.6 pct y/y

* First gain since Sept 2008

* Industrial output seen +5.7 pct y/y in October

TAIPEI, Nov 19 - Taiwan's export orders likely rose 4.6 percent in October from a year earlier, the first gain in 13 months, as a recovery in the global economy spurs stronger domestic and external demand, a Reuters poll showed.

Orders, which have been falling since October last year, probably totalled $31.8 billion last month, based on the poll of 11 economists. The figure would be higher than $30.8 billion in September.

The return of strong consumer demand is vital for a sustainable global recovery from the worst economic crisis in generations, but consumer confidence in Asia's major Western export markets remains fragile.

Taiwan's industrial output in October is expected to have risen 5.7 percent from a year earlier, a rate of growth last seen in May 2008.

Forecasts for October export orders and industrial output (percentage change from a year earlier):


Citigroup 0.3 8.9

DBS 1.6 3.3

Taiwan Securities 2.9 5.0

Masterlink Securities 3.5 9.4

SinoPac 3.89 5.53

Chinatrust Commercial Bank 4.6 9.8

Polaris Research Institute 4.65 5.7

IDEAglobal 5.1 5.6

ING 5.8 6.2

Moody's 8.0 4.8

Forecast Ltd 9.24 10.3

Taiwan stocks close up, property issues climb

TAIPEI, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Taiwan stocks closed up 0.37
percent on Wednesday, led by real estate plays such as Farglory
on hopes that a currency clearing system with China would lead to
more Chinese investments in the island's property market. The main TAIEX share index finished up 28.39 points
at 7,677.62, extending the previous session's 0.88 percent rise. Farglory (5522.TW) rose 2.56 percent, in line with the
broader construction sub-index's .TCOI 2.74 percent advance. ((Reporting by Grace Kuo; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner +886 2
2508 0815)) ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email
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Vote-buying taints Taiwan's democracy: analysts

TAIPEI — Taiwan should be a shining example of democracy in East Asia but it is tainted by vote-buying, and Saturday's local elections are no exception, observers say.

Taiwan's voters will go to the polls to elect mayors, county chiefs and city councillors in major parts of the island, amid reports of candidates spending their way into public office in defiance of official vows to the opposite.

"We will not buy votes during the elections and we will not become corrupt as the ruling party," said President Ma Ying-jeou, also the head of the Kuomintang party, in late November.

Just days after Ma was speaking, justice ministry data showed prosecutors were investigating 128 alleged vote-buying cases for local mayor and county chief elections, and 807 cases in local councillor elections.

"If you look at other East Asian countries like South Korea and Japan, I'd say vote-buying is worse than in the other countries by far," said Christian Schafferer, a political scientist at Taiwan's Overseas Chinese University.

The situation is particularly serious in rural areas, where local politicians enjoy enormous prestige and often have close personal connections with the voters.

"In the big cities, young people will take the money and vote for whomever they want to, or not vote at all. But older people in the countryside may feel a moral obligation," said Schafferer.

Part of the explanation is history, traceable back to the end of World War II in 1945, when a defeated Japan gave up 50 years of colonial rule on Taiwan, handing over the reins to the Kuomintang, then also the ruler in China.

The Kuomintang had no links to local Taiwanese society, which had been insulated from the mainland for half a century, and it had to ally itself with existing powerbrokers.

They were typically to be found among influential local families who had dominated their communities for generations, offering protection against disaster and public goods in return for grassroots support.

Even today, these families are often in charge, and are more crucial at the local level than the big national parties, according to Alexander Tan, an expert on Taiwan politics at New Zealand's University of Canterbury.

"Public office is seen as a private thing. They run it like a private corporation. It's quite entrenched," he said.

"The party is the big dog, and the tail is the local politicians, and the tail wags the dog."

The price of a vote can range from 500 Taiwan dollars (15 US dollars) to several thousand dollars depending on how close the race is, according to Wang Yeh-lih, a political science professor at National Taiwan University.

"Candidates usually buy votes through their key campaign staff who have close ties with the local communities," said Wang.

"The situation has been improving in recent years with more local staffers being prosecuted for vote-buying," he said.

However, weeding out the practice completely could be hard because the local factions remain crucial for political parties' ability to extend to all corners of society.

"Local families are the ones that have to be courted by the large parties, so in some sense, it's easier for the parties to look the other way and ignore what's happening," said Tan from the University of Canterbury.

"If party A says it wants to clean it up, local politicians will ask how about party B, do you want to go with us."

There is little doubt the harmful impact on democracy is real and often prevents the voice of the people being genuinely reflected in election results, according to observers.

"In an election for county chief you have to engage in massive buying but if it's an election for the city council, you don't need so many votes," said Schafferer.

"You can actually take out the other candidate by buying votes. Then of course it's not


Taiwan agency promoting int'l economic development holds meeting

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) is holding an annual meeting with allies and other developing countries in the Asia-Pacific and West Asia regions in Jakarta, Indonesia this week.
ICDF, is state-funded organization dedicated to assisting the developing countries that are friendly to Taiwan in economic development.

Members of the ICDF "friends' associations" in seven nations in the region, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Solomon Islands and Thailand, and officials from the regional countries that had visited Taiwan for ICDF-organized training programs are attending the two-day meeting which opened on Wednesday, the ICDF said in a statement.

The participants have expressed hope of strengthening friendship and cooperation with Taiwan in the gathering, the ICDF said.

According to the statement, representatives of the ICDF friends' associations will present reports on their recent and planned activities at the meeting.

There will also be a Leaders Forum for the leaders of the associations and ICDF executives to brainstorm creative ways to promote bilateral cooperation and exchanges, the ICDF said.

There are 37 associations of ICDF friends around the world. In 1995, the ICDF opened the first annual meeting of members of the association to promote their interactions, ICDF Deputy Secretary General P.P. Lee said.

Supported by Taiwan's successful experience in economic development, the ICDF organizes many training camps each year to assist diplomatic allies and other countries in cultivating talents in the fields of economy, trade, agricultural activities, and information and telecommunications.

(By Elizabeth Hsu)


Taiwan market: Sony cuts prices for Bravia Z series LCD TVs

Sony has lowered the retail prices for its high-end Z series Bravia LCD TVs by NT$10,000-15,000 (US$311.26-466.89) in the Taiwan market, according to Sony Taiwan.

The price of the 52-inch Z series Bravia LCD TV has dropped to NT$109,000 from NT$119,000, the 46-inch model to NT$79,900 from NT$89,900, and the 40-inch model to NT$54,900 from NT$69,900, Sony Taiwan noted.

Sony started to reduced its LCD TV prices in the second half of 2009 in order to boost sales. Sony was number one for the 32-inch segment in Taiwan in October after lowering the price of its entry-level 32-inch model below NT$20,000 in September. In November, Sony further reduced the prices of its S, V, and W series LCD TVs by NT$5,000-10,000.

Market observers are speculating that Sony's latest price cuts for its high-end models will prompt other first-tier vendors such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics (LGE), and Panasonic to follow suit.


Taiwan developing into high tech capital-raising center

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) The government has begun work to build Taiwan into a high technology capital-raising center as part of its efforts to promote the development of the country's capital market.
Vice President Vincent Siew said Wednesday at a forum on company management that the Financial Supervisory Commission and other relevant government agencies are mapping out measures to develop a financial center with what he described as "Taiwanese characteristics." There has been a good industrial and value connection in the up-, mid- and downstream of Taiwan's high tech industry that can be used by the industry -- one of Taiwan's most internationally competitive -- as a base for the planned center, said Siew.

Economic and financial consultants to the government have advised that Taiwan should take advantage of its edge in the high tech sector to attract foreign companies to list on Taiwan's stock market.

Siew stated that as countries around the world attach importance to company management, strengthening management will not just help the sustainable development of a company, but will also attract international investors to Taiwan.

As a small export-oriented country, Taiwan faces powerful competitors in the international market. In that regard, the government will continue efforts to help local companies reinforce their management, Siew said.

Siew is the incumbent chairman of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation and he chaired the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research before being nominated as a vice presidential candidate in 2007.

(By Erin Ho and Elizabeth Hsu)


Taiwanese Druid Beats World of Warcraft

A World of Warcraft player from Taiwan becomes the first to snag every single achievement in the game.

StumbleUponRedditFarkEmail MMO Champion is reporting that a Taiwanese World of Warcraft junkie has officially become the first player in the world to attain every achievement in the game. The level 80 Tauren Druid known as "Little Grey" actually missed one world event achievement, but a bug in the PvP achievements balanced this out.
Technically he's still missing BB King (added with Patch 3.2.2) and his World Events achievements are down to 138/139 because of that, luckily a bug with an old PvP achievement gives him 165/164, that's how he got 986/986. The achievement count obviously doesn't take Feats of Strength into account because it's technically impossible to get all of them. (Well I guess you could race change to compete for the first level 80 undead/tauren/troll/orc/blood elf on the same character but I don't think you'll get all of them)


Taiwan's authorities trying to rid election of phantom voters

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) With three days to go before Saturday's county magistrate and mayoral elections, prosecutors have stepped up their efforts to drive out phantom voters, especially in the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu.
In the two outlying counties, where the number of voters is small, an election can be decided by a slim margin. Prosecutors said that was all the more reason for them to weed out phantom voters - people who take up residence in local areas four months before the election date for the sole purpose of being eligible to vote for specific candidates.

Some of these voters are paid by people who support particular candidates to become a "voting machine" to sway the election outcome.

The prosecutors started their crackdown several months ago.

In last month alone, the authorities mobilized over 200 policemen, searched 20 residences and summoned 117 people for questioning in two waves of crackdown to check alleged phantom voters, according to the newspaper China Times. The reports also cited the prosecutors in saying that the number of the alleged "phantom population" was 3,215 in Kinmen, nearly double that of the number of 1,613 in the previous local elections four years ago. Law enforcement authorities have also found that several hundred of the phantom voters belonged to the gangster organization "Tian Tao Meng (The Celestial Way)" from Taiwan proper.

In the past, law enforcement officers would simply leave if the houses they visited were locked. But this time, the officers did not give up so easily, but visited the same house for up to four times in half a day, the reports added.

Seven candidates, the most among all 17 cities and counties where elections will be held, are vying for the seat of Kinmen magistrate this year. The battle is therefore fought more fiercely there than in any other place.

Lee Wo-shih, a candidate nominated by the ruling Kuomintang, even went the distance to campaign in Taipei city and county, where around 60 percent of more than 20,000 eligible Kinmen voters now reside.

The total number of eligible voters in Kinmen is 72,509. Comparatively, the number of eligible voters in Matsu is only 7,697.

Efforts to root out phantom voters in Matsu was also intense.

Lin Ching-tsung, chief prosecutor of Lienchiang Prosecutors Office in Matsu, said that the office began to check the suspected phantom voters beginning in January and has listed 261 such cases, the China Times reported.

Reports also said that the prosecutors are also examining the passenger lists of airliners, ferries as well as the guest lists of hotels and hostels. If suspected persons travel to Matsu, the prosecutors would question them immediately.

With the rampant rumors of phantom voters in Matsu, Lin said his office "is pulling out all the stops to contain their encroachment to ensure a fair and just election." Meanwhile, the air carriers announced that they have added more flights to Kinmen and Matsu starting Friday to meet the needs of those who reside in Taiwan proper but want to return home to vote. A total of 16 flights to the two outlying islands have been added, and they have been quickly booked with many more people on the waiting lists.

"We were fully booked on the first day we announced the additional flights," an official of the Mandarin Airlines said. (By Lilian Wu) endditem/cs


Taiwan goes slow on 3 TV channel applications by Next Media

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The National Communications Commission failed to approve applications from Next Media Interactive Limited for three television channels Wednesday, just a week after the media group caused an uproar with its violent animated news service.
The NCC would review the applications for general information and news channels next week, but unexpectedly failed to approve applications for a sports, entertainment and movie channel, reports said.

Next needed to come up with more details about its plans because the information it had provided so far was extremely simple, NCC Vice Chairman Chen Cheng-tsang told a news conference.

The media group, headed by flamboyant Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai, faced a wave of criticism last week when it was found its animated news could easily be viewed on computers and cell phones.

The group vehemently denied that the animated news was a harbinger of things to come on its TV channels. Next claimed the animation was purely a project by its Apple Daily newspaper and was completely separate from its TV plans.

Women’s rights, media and education activists protested against the service for what they described as explicit violence and graphic images of sexual crimes. The Taipei City Government fined Next and demanded a ratings system to prevent children from gaining access to the images.

The NCC also reworked its package of punitive measures against media groups found to be violating laws and regulations Wednesday. The body could order a stop to broadcasting for a terrestrial TV station which had accumulated NT$6 million in fines within two years, reports said. The sums stood at NT$3 million for terrestrial radio stations and NT$10 million for satellite stations.

The new package would take effect next July 1, the NCC said, but the measure would be retroactive for two years. The punitive measures would be divided into three steps, a warning, fines, and a broadcasting ban or cancellation of the broadcasting license, the NCC said.


Taiwan industrial sector robust, but PMI slips to 58.4

The headline Purchasing Managers’ Index posted 58.4 in November, indicating marked growth of the Taiwan manufacturing sector. However, the rate of expansion eased since October, when the PMI registered a two-year high of 59.8.

Growth in new order volumes continued to underpin the PMI during November. The pace of expansion in new business was substantial, despite easing marginally since October, and remained markedly faster than the historical average for the series. Similarly, new export orders rose markedly, extending the sequence of sustained growth to seven months.

Reflective of the slower growth in new order volumes, the pace of expansion in production eased since October, although remained strong in the context of historical data. November marked the ninth successive month of output growth.

Backlogs continued to rise during the month, although the rate of increase eased since October indicating that production capacity remained under some pressure. Meanwhile, stocks of finished goods declined only marginally, with the pace of reduction easing for the fifth successive month.

Manufacturers in Taiwan sustained their efforts to increase production capacity, with employment rising for the fifth successive month. Moreover, the rate of increase accelerated since October to the highest in 22 months.

Reflective of increased order volumes, purchasing activity rose during November and at a marked rate. Due to the higher level of purchasing activity, suppliers’ delivery times lengthened as capacity at vendors was fully utilized. Moreover, panelists commented that raw material shortages had compounded capacity issues.

Overall, pricing pressures within the Taiwan manufacturing sector appeared to build further. Input prices rose considerably, accelerating robustly from the sharp inflation recorded in October. However, competition prevalent in the market prevented manufacturers from passing on the full rise in raw material costs to customers. Output prices were increased marginally as pricing power remained weak.

Commenting on the Taiwan Manufacturing PMI survey, Frederic Neumann, senior Asian economist at HSBC, said: “Taiwan's economy is finishing the year on a strong note. While activity appears to have slowed sequentially over the last month, the level of output remains marked and we expect another strong GDP reading for the fourth quarter. Export order growth eased in November, although remained steep. However, a strong recovery in the employment index suggests that domestic demand remains buoyant and firms confident about the further demand follow-through. Employment is rising despite some margin pressure on firms, which have seen input prices rise relative to output prices over the last several months.”


Taiwan man arrested at airport for smuggling

A Taiwan resident has been arrested for human smuggling after attempting to help a mainland man board an international flight at Beijing Capital International Airport on Sunday, police said.

Police said they became suspicious that the Taiwan resident surnamed Lin was traveling alone.

Lin was returning to Taipei via Hong Kong - a normal path for Taiwan residents - but it was considered rare that on his first journey to the mainland, Lin was not traveling with a group. Additionally, he was not carrying any gifts, the news website reported yesterday.

The police also discovered the man had a Taiwan travel document but not a Taiwan ID card, the Beijing Times said.

The police suspected Lin might be assisting someone else to illegally leave the country so they allowed him to pass through immigration control and had him followed by two plainclothes officers.

Lin then approached a man waiting for another flight and the two men went into a smoking room together. The officers immediately arrested the two men and found a fake passport on the mainlander.

Lin allegedly told the officers he had been advised by relatives that he could earn some money helping others to board international flights, but had been caught on his first attempt. Beijing General Station for Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection said in early November they had apprehended 387 people illegally crossing Chinese borders in the first nine months of the year, 39 percent lower than the same period one year earlier. Almost 70 percent used fake passports or travel documents.

However, the number of cases in which citizens helped others to pass without proper authorization rose by 40 percent year-on-year, Li Wei, a senior officer with the Beijing immigration control told China Youth Daily. Li said the police found five assisted human smuggling cases in 10 days in May.

In September, a foreigner who tried to help a Chinese citizen get access into Europe by swapping boarding passes was also detained at the airport.

The Chinese citizen, who had a ticket to Hong Kong, reportedly walked around the waiting room holding the novel, Da Vinci Code.

When he met a foreign man also holding a copy of the novel, they were both apprehended by police.


Malaysia can attract power sector investments from Taiwan

NEW YORK: Though the visiting Taiwanese business delegation, comprising companies engaged in the island’s energy sector, has closely monitored developments in Malaysia’s power sector they are unaware of the extent of incentives the Malaysian Government will extend to them if they collaborate with Malaysian firms by offering technology or participating with capital.

The delegation, which is led by Taiwan’s Deputy Economics Minister Dr Hwang Jung-Chiou, is currently visiting the US to scout for business opportunities and identify corporate partners in the energy sector as many federal states in the US are giving priority to tapping what is euphemised as “green energy.”

Malaysia could open itself too, given its existing infrastructure in the energy sector, one Taiwanese businessman, who recently toured Sarawak and Penang in a “private capacity”, told Bernama on the condition of anonymity.

“I believe Malaysia would be a good partner for Taiwan for cooperation in energy issues. The entire world is clamouring for clean and green energy which which is going to be the future trend.

“Green energy has become a sort of battle cry in many countries of the world. It is obvious that the industry will need new and cleaner forms of technology to combat pollution if we are to achieve the climate change goals,” he said.

Malaysian Industrial Development Authority, which promotes investments to and from Malaysia, can look at ways and means of fostering closer cooperation with Taiwan whose energy-specialised companies are earmarking large sums for research and development (R&D) to produce innovative technology for this sector.

Though the focus of his current visit is on fostering closer business ties with US corporations, Hwang is also not oblivious to opportunities available in Asia itself, including Malaysia. Hwang said the Asean region was replete with energy resources.

He said the Thai government, for example, gave some incentives to foreign companies interested in the energy sector but he was not sure if Malaysia also did the same.

The remarks imply that Taiwan’s industry may also take a closer look at Malaysia’s energy sector if the Malaysian Government can provide the right form of incentives and other facilities. — Bernama


Taiwan's representative office in Sapporo opens

Taiwan opened a representative office in Sapporo yesterday, its first new office in Japan in 30 years.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng described the representative office as a "breakthrough in Japan-Taiwan relations."

Wang along with many other dignitaries from Japan and Taiwan attended the ceremony marking the opening of the office, the first since an office was opened in Yokohama in 1979.

The legislative speaker not only lauded the move as a promising development in bilateral ties, he said it would be "a shot in the arm for tourism exchanges."

Noting that relatively few Hokkaido residents visit Taiwan, Wang said he hoped the opening of the Sapporo office would help lure more people from the northern Japanese island to vacation in Taiwan.

"The hospitable Taiwanese people welcome Japanese visitors with open arms," Wang said.

Addressing the ceremony, Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi said Taiwan is very important to Hokkaido in terms of tourism.

"The opening of the Taiwan office in Sapporo will help facilitate Taiwanese tourists' visits here and further bolster bilateral exchanges," she said.

She also disclosed that authorities from Hokkaido's Kushiro subprefecture had decided to give a pair of Japanese-bred red-crowned cranes to the Taipei Zoo as a token of friendship.

Shinichi Sakamoto, head of a Hokkaido organization aimed at promoting local tourism, said his organization will cooperate more closely with Taiwan's representative office in Sapporo to get more people in Hokkaido interested in sightseeing in Taiwan.

Sakamoto believed that most Hokkaido residents who had visited Taiwan would be happy to repeat their trips there.

Hokkaido residents are attracted by Taiwan's delicious food, good tea and convenient high-speed railway system.


Taiwan dlr at 2-week high on stocks, risk appeal

* Taiwan dollar posts strongest close since Nov. 18

* High-yield currencies in vogue as Dubai debt woes fade

* Central bank buys U.S. dollar to curb gains - dealers (Updates to close)

TAIPEI, Dec 2 - The Taiwan dollar firmed on Wednesday to a two-week high, tracking local stocks and reflecting renewed global appetite for riskier currencies, but the island's central bank bought U.S. dollars to curb gains.

The closing level of T$32.170 to the U.S. dollar was the strongest since Nov. 18.

Overseas, the U.S. dollar was on the defensive against higher-yielding currencies as rising stocks and commodity markets encouraged a pick-up in risk-taking [ID:nT181057]. Investor risk appetite showed little sign of waning ahead of the year's end.

Further whetting appetite in riskier currencies such as the Taiwan dollar, the international impact of Dubai's shock debt announcement last week had lessened considerably amid expectations that the crisis would be largely contained to the emirate and a handful of large creditors.

"The currency is generally coming back since the blowout on Friday," said Patrick Bennett, currency strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong. "We favour it to be strong."

Further supporting the local currency, Taiwan stocks <.TWII> closed 0.37 percent higher.

Some investors stayed on the sidelines, moving cautiously toward the end of the year or awaiting U.S. payroll data due on Friday, dealers said.

Taiwan's central bank, which seeks to keep the currency in a managed float and has recently pushed it weaker to help local exporters, curbed gains on Wednesday by buying U.S. dollars, dealers said.

0800 GMT PREVIOUS SESSION T$ (Taipei Forex Inc) 32.170 32.199 Volume in $ mln (Taipei Forex Inc) 644 743 (Cosmos) 32.145 32.190 Six-month NDFs -0.700/-0.650 -0.670/-0.620

Note: Taipei Forex Inc is Taiwan's main forex exchange; Cosmos is a smaller exchange. Both exchanges end trading at 0800 GMT

Source: NDFs quotations from Prebon Asia

For more foreign exchange news, please click [nTOPFRX] (Reporting by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Chris Lewis) ((; +886 2 2500 4882; Reuters Messaging: (


Taiwan dlr at 2-week high on stocks, risk appeal

* Taiwan dollar posts strongest close since Nov. 18

* High-yield currencies in vogue as Dubai debt woes fade

* Central bank buys U.S. dollar to curb gains - dealers (Updates to close)

TAIPEI, Dec 2 - The Taiwan dollar firmed on Wednesday to a two-week high, tracking local stocks and reflecting renewed global appetite for riskier currencies, but the island's central bank bought U.S. dollars to curb gains.

The closing level of T$32.170 to the U.S. dollar was the strongest since Nov. 18.

Overseas, the U.S. dollar was on the defensive against higher-yielding currencies as rising stocks and commodity markets encouraged a pick-up in risk-taking [ID:nT181057]. Investor risk appetite showed little sign of waning ahead of the year's end.

Further whetting appetite in riskier currencies such as the Taiwan dollar, the international impact of Dubai's shock debt announcement last week had lessened considerably amid expectations that the crisis would be largely contained to the emirate and a handful of large creditors.

"The currency is generally coming back since the blowout on Friday," said Patrick Bennett, currency strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong. "We favour it to be strong."

Further supporting the local currency, Taiwan stocks <.TWII> closed 0.37 percent higher.

Some investors stayed on the sidelines, moving cautiously toward the end of the year or awaiting U.S. payroll data due on Friday, dealers said.

Taiwan's central bank, which seeks to keep the currency in a managed float and has recently pushed it weaker to help local exporters, curbed gains on Wednesday by buying U.S. dollars, dealers said.

0800 GMT PREVIOUS SESSION T$ (Taipei Forex Inc) 32.170 32.199 Volume in $ mln (Taipei Forex Inc) 644 743 (Cosmos) 32.145 32.190 Six-month NDFs -0.700/-0.650 -0.670/-0.620

Note: Taipei Forex Inc is Taiwan's main forex exchange; Cosmos is a smaller exchange. Both exchanges end trading at 0800 GMT

Source: NDFs quotations from Prebon Asia

For more foreign exchange news, please click [nTOPFRX] (Reporting by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Chris Lewis) ((; +886 2 2500 4882; Reuters Messaging: (


Taiwan to promote internationalized medical care services

According to Taiwan’s Economic Development Vision for 2015, industrialization of medical care services and Flagship Project has been kept as a key development priority. In October 2007, the Taiwan’s Department of Health (DOH) began planning distribution channels and marketing campaigns targeting the current state of this initiative. The objective is to integrate the resources of industry, government and academia into a medical care service network and jointly build a brand image of Taiwan as the home of first-rate medical care services.

The Medical Service Internationalization Flagship Project since its implementation in 2007 has focused on enhancing the basic operating environment of the industry and building distribution channels. A number of gradual results have been obtained so far: The DOH’s Taiwan Task Force for Medical Travel (TTFMT) has helped partner Taiwan hospitals with the Guangzhou-based Zion Health Club, Formosa Health Business Company, Ltd., and Pacific Rim Medical Overseas Consortium to collaborate in transferring patients to receive medical care. TTFMT is also actively putting together international cooperation channels. It has signed memoranda of understanding with Guardian Healthcare Co., the Taiwan subsidiary of the Harvest Medical Investment and Operation Group, and Canadian Allied Development Services International, Inc., whereby patients of foreign nationality requiring multinational medical treatment will have priority referral to hospitals cooperating with the TTFMT.

Since Taiwan is currently still in the early stages of developing medical care services for the international market, strategic planning is to be undertaken in five areas:
1. International marketing: The principal task will be to boost Taiwan’s international profile, build an overall medical care reputation, actively develop overseas Chinese and Chinese mainland markets and promote service models and the development of cooperative channels.
2. Medical care service quality: With medical care services as the core competency of this industry, quality control monitoring and improvement will continue so as to enhance Taiwan’s overall medical care image. A balance will also be sought between development of the medical care industry and social fairness.
3. Tourism resource integration: Strategic cooperation between Taiwan’s leisure and tourism industry and the medical care industry will be intensified to enhance the added value of medical care service alliances and upgrade the basic tourism infrastructure and information technology services for higher tourism quality.
4. Policy coordination: Border entry procedures for non-nationals will continue to be simplified to enhance the attractiveness of traveling to Taiwan for medical treatment. Pertinent laws, regulations and controls will also continue to be reviewed and relaxed to create even more favorable conditions for the industry.
5. Cross-industry alliances: Efforts will be made to establish cross-industry cooperation models involving members of the tourism, hotel, airline and both domestic and overseas insurance industries to expand the medical care services value chain, boost added value, provide complete services and establish industry-oriented operating models.

The DOH believed linking high-quality medical services with a caring and customer-oriented service ethic could lead to innovative operating models for the medical care industry and attract international clients. It also has the potential to stimulate growth of Taiwan’s tourism, transportation and related service industries while boosting overall national competitiveness


Mahindra From India Meets Taiwan-based Auto Parts Suppliers

Taipei, Dec. 2, 2009 (CENS)--Mahindra and Mahindra Co., Ltd., a major maker of various industrial and transportation vehicles in India, recently held a procurement meeting with more than 40 representatives of auto-parts and vehicle makers in Taiwan, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

Rahul Chemburkar, Mahindra`s senior global procurement manager, met one-on-one 16 local companies after introducing corporate purchase policies, saying that Mahindra is expected to procure about US$3.4 million in automotive-electronics parts, especially alternators and GPS navigation equipment.

Mahnidra Group kicked off career in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a multinational conglomerate with annual revenue of about US$6.7 billion (in 2009). It employs over 1,00,000 people worldwide and is a major force in the world in utility vehicles, tractors and information technology.

According to Chemburkar, Mahindra procured about US$10 million worth of products from foreign suppliers in 2008 and the value is expected to grow to US$18 million this year. He explained that two major factors lead to Mahindra`s rapid growth in purchase value, including the lowering tariffs on imported vehicle parts after India became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and cost/performance concerns in comparison between India- and other nation-made products.

He added that about 2.24 million automobiles are expected to be sold in India this year, and the volume is estimated to reach 3.2 million by 2012.

Major Taiwanese parts suppliers at the procurement meeting included Tong Tong Yang Industrial Co., Ltd. (body parts), Federal Corp. (rubber tire), Unipoint Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (electrical parts), Tung Thih Electronic Co., Ltd. (automotive electronics) etc.

Taiwan`s automaker China Motor Corp.`s representatives said that Mahindra already knows about their company`s advanced safety electronics systems, such as the eagle view system (for 360-degree image monitoring) and auto rain system etc., and are very interested in such new products.


Taiwan seeks IPR protection assistance from China

Advices had been drawn by the Officials of Taiwan's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) from its mainland Chinese counterparts in Taipei yesterday regarding the process of safeguarding the intellectual property rights (IPR) of the Taiwanese companies against infringement in China.

IPO Director-General Wang Mei-hua in a meeting with a visiting group of Chinese officials said that Taiwan’s wish that the Chinese government should form some consultation service windows in major cities around China so that it can assist Taiwanese companies whose intellectual properties have been pirated.

"Quite unlike in Taiwan, where victims of IPR piracy go to the court directly for their complaints, similar cases were handled in administrative offices in China," Wang noted.

For Taiwanese music producers, it is required to approach a semi-official Chinese agency which is based in Hong Kong first for an approval certificate before their publications or products enter the mainland Chinese markets.

‘They also complained that the fees that they have collected in China for karaoke music download authorization were disproportionate compared to that collected in Taiwan.” Wang said.


Charles Taylor Received Money From Taiwan and Libya For His Presidential Campaign, He says

Charles Taylor today told Special Court for Sierra Leone judges that he received money from both Taiwan and Libya as contributions to his campaign to become president of Liberia in 1997.

"In 1996-1997, i received money from Taiwan and Libya," Mr. Taylor told the court today.

Mr. Taylor explained that during his campaign in the Liberian presidential elections in 1997, the Taiwanese government gave him 1,000,000 United States Dollars to support his candidacy. The money, Mr. Taylor said was delivered through the Taiwanese embassy in Ivory Coast and was received by his Chief of Protocol Musa Sesay. Although the check was addressed in his name, Mr. Taylor said that it was cashed by Mr. Sesay in Abidjan, based on his (Taylor) authorization. Asked by lead prosecutor Ms. Brenda Hollis why the Tawainese government had given him such amount of money, Mr. Taylor explained that the Taiwanese government probably did so for Public Relations (PR) reasons.

"They developed an interest in me," Mr. Taylor said. "At that particular time, it was clear that elections were coming up. There was this concern that after the elections, they were concerned that China will block their interest in Liberia. It was like a form of PR for them because they were concerned that diplomatic support will continue after i became president. It was part of a policy to try to court foreign countries or prospective leaders."

Mr. Taylor further explained that the Taiwanese government provided him with two ambulances which he donated to the Liberian government. Part of the money received from the Taiwanese government was also used to establish the Charles Ghankay Taylor Educational and Humanitarian Foundation, the former president said.


Taiwanese HR and CR prices up by up to TWD 1300 a tonne

It is reported that Taiwanese domestic HRC and CRC prices increased by TWD 1000 to TWD 1300 per tonne after the major mills announced their new price.

The market HRC price has increased to TWD 19,000 per tonne and CRC price has increased to TWD 23,000 per tonne.

However, some people still worried about that the price may plunge later since the local demand remained weak.

(Sourced from YIEH.corp)

Taiwan's CPC, Partners To Explore For Natural Gas In Indonesia

TAIPEI (Dow Jones)--Taiwan's state-run oil company CPC Corp. said Tuesday it will jointly explore for natural gas with partners in Indonesia for 30 years after a consortium won a production sharing contract Monday.

CPC estimated the coal bed to have about 110 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserve, the company said in a statement.

CPC has a 20% stake in the consortium, which also includes Virginia Indonesia Co. LLC, BP PLC (BP), ENI SpA (E), Universe Gas and Oil Co. and others, CPC said.

The consortium plans to spend $37.9 million for the first three years to drill 11 wells, CPC said.

-By Jessie Ho, Dow Jones Newswires; 88622 502-2557;


Fair Friend Enterprise in China to Issue TDRs in Taiwan

Taipei, Dec. 2, 2009 (CENS)--Fair Friend Enterprise Co., a leading manufacturer of machine tools in China, will apply to issue Taiwan depository receipts (TDRs) to be listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) sometime in the second quarter of 2010.

Fair Friend Group chairman Jimmy Chu said Fair Friend will integrate all the production facilities in China to achieve NT$10 billion (US$301.55 million at US$1:NT$32.2) in overall production value per year, adding that his group will apply to list TDRs in Taiwan under Fair Friend International.

With total output of 5,800 units of various kinds of metal-cutting and metal-forming machine tools, the group saw sales of machine tools reach more than NT$10.3 billion (US$319.87 million) last year.

Chu once said Fair Friend will return to Taiwan to go public within two years, or in 2011, a plan that has been pushed ahead backed by improving Cross-Strait relations.

Founded 30 years ago, Fair Friend began operations as an agent of construction machinery for Japan-based Kobe Steel Corp. With decades of development, Fair Friend currently has 52 affiliates worldwide with products ranging from machine tools to power hand tools, forklift trucks, construction machinery, elevators, parking systems, pneumatic hand tools, printed circuit boards, liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs and LCD devices.

BenQ Taiwan, New 42" Full HD TV

Behold! the SQ4242, BenQ Taiwan's latest 42" Full HD TV featuring a nice and elegant "Frame" a SRS TruSurround XT sound system, 3 HDMI 1.3 port, BenQ Senseye technology giving you a 5000:1 contrast ration (20000:1 on dynamic mode), as well as being capable of natively supporting both MP3 and JPEG files via one of its USB ports has arrived.


Taiwan's Powerchip returns to profit in November

TAIPEI, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Taiwan computer memory chip maker Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (5346.TWO) said on Tuesday it returned to profit in November after several quarters of losses, following a rebound in chip prices.

In November alone, Powerchip's sales reached T$5.38 billion ($167 million), up 27 percent from October and more than triple from a year ago when Powerchip and other DRAM chip rivals struggled with lower chip prices due to weaker demand.

The news came after the Taipei stock market closed on Tuesday. Powerchip shares rose 2.1 percent, outpacing the main TAIEX's 0.88 percent gain. (US$1=T$32.2) (Reporting by Baker Li; Editing by Jacqueline Wong) ((; +886 2 2508-0815; Reuters messaging: ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to


Taiwan Cement to Expand Presence in Mainland via Acquisition

TAIWAN, Dec 02, 2009 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) -- TGBMF | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- Taiwan Cement Co., announced on November 30, 2009 that it would spend HKD 4 billion acquiring Upper Value Investment Ltd., a cement plant in Mainland China under the wing of Hong Kong-based Prosperity Minerals Holdings Ltd.
The move is expected to help the Taiwan-based company lift its total output of cement to more than 40 million tons from current 24.5 million tons in the mainland so that it can replace Anhui Conch Cement Co., Ltd. (SHSE: 600585) to be a locomotive in the south China cement sector. Annual output of the plant is about 18 million tons. Besides, the buyer is said to purchase other cement production lines under the Hong Kong-based company, with annual output of 10 million tons.

Taiwan Cement Chairman Leslie Koo said that this was the first step for the company's layout in the mainland and likely to support its future development by cooperation with other Chinese


Taiwan mulling allowing its flat panel industry to invest in China

New York, Nov. 30 (CNA) Taiwan's deputy economics minister said Monday here that the government will properly handle issues related to the opening of Taiwan's flat panel industry to invest in China.
Huang Jung-chiou made the remarks on the sidelines of the opening of the 2009 Taiwan-US Green Energy & Technology Joint Conference in response to a call for the opening.

But Huang did not comment on whether the Ministry of Economic Affairs will reach an agreement for the opening in 2010 at an inter-ministerial meeting slated for late-December on review of the timing and scope for opening Taiwan's panel industry to invest in China.

Taiwan's contract manufacturers have very strong production capacity for small-and-medium size flat panel products and the products have gained a competitive edge in the global market, according to Huang.

Meanwhile, manufacturers of large size panels have set their sight on the flat panel television market, with the United States and Japan the two largest markets in the world. Demand for the products in China has been growing rapidly recently, Huang said.

Huang said that according to his observation, China is not willing to see the country overly rely on other countries for panel production, particularly Taiwan and South Korea. It therefore hopes Taiwan's panel manufacturers will invest in China.

"We'll keep a close eye on South Korea's move in China and properly address issues related to collaboration between Taiwan and China in panel production," he indicated.

Lou Qinjian, vice-minister of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, urged Taiwan to open its panel industry to invest in China during a meeting in Taipei a few days ago and said that both sides have reached a consensus on the matter.

(By Hwang Jaw-ping and Y.L. Kao)


The Tiger Woods Incident: Artist rendition from Taiwan

In case you didn't get enough of (or couldn't access) that sweetly awkward video of a Sims-esque Tiger Woods being beaten by his wife and driving into a tree...well, we've got some screenshots for you, but this time they're bigger and (well, sort of) better. And there's a whole gallery of 'em! Enjoy trying to fit the pieces together; heck, even make your own web cartoon out of them! Just remember, you got 'em here first.

On a side note, why does the Taiwanese media think Tiger drives a minivan?


Taiwan market: Global Mobile expected to become second WiMAX operator

Global Mobile, one of the six WiMAX licensees in Taiwan, is expected to pass examination by the National Communications Commission (NCC) to obtain a WiMAX operating license on December 2, becoming the second operator after Tatung InfoComm, according to industry sources.

Global Mobile will be required to officially inaugurate its WiMAX services within six months of obtaining the operating license, noted the sources, adding that the other four licensees must obtain operating licenses by the end of March 2010 or will lose their rights to run WiMAX networks.


Asian Economies not Showing the Resilience of China and Taiwan

China is of course the talk of the town when it comes to growth this year (indeed almost any year this decade) but China is not Asia and the other economies in the region have been displaying varying signs of growth and/or contraction suggesting that they are not performing consistently to the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Taiwan, ranked 10th in the Asia-Pacific region (based on GDP according to Wikipedia) is reported in an FT article as posting a significant jump in GDP in the third quarter. Powered by exports the economy expanded by 8.3% on a quarter by quarter annualized basis. In fact Taiwan has been doing exceptionally well this year possibly because its economy is now so closely aligned with China’s. Moreover, and as if it needed it, the government announced last week a $124bn stimulus to the economy mostly in the form of infrastructure projects.

Indonesia did surprisingly well too; the economy grew by an annual rate of 4.2% probably buoyed in part by commodity exports.

Singapore and the Philippines, ranked 17 and 18th respectively also showed growth but it was anemic compared to Taiwan and below market expectations. Singapore expanded by 3.6% year on year in October, following a 6.3% decline the month before showing the fragile nature of the country’s export orientated economy. The Philippines grew by just 1% in the third quarter, again below market expectations, if thankfully still in positive territory. Hong Kong ranked 15th grew by just 0.4% in the third quarter down from a 3.5% growth in the quarter before. Finally, Malaysia continued to contract, by 1.2% in the third quarter but better than the 3.9% fall the quarter before.

Illustrating how venerable some of these Asian economies are to perceptions of not just the economy but political stability, Thailand has urged investors to not be spooked by political risks, the underlying institutions are stable said the Finance Minister in the FT article. The economy is also managing the downturn reasonably well; growing by 1.3% quarter on quarter retaining Thailand’s position as 12th ranked Asian economy.

Some of the smaller economies are visibly struggling though. Vietnam, ranked 24th has increased its base interest rate by 100 basis points to 8% in an attempt to retain foreign capital while simultaneously devaluing the currency, the Vietnamese Dong, by 5% against the US Dollar in an effort to support exporters. So far Vietnam is the first country to directly devalue in this way; others have encouraged adjustments by talking of fiscal controls or just complained loudly as their currency has become progressively less competitive against the dollar and the yuan. But in the current weak export markets and with so many Asian economies relying on overseas markets it could be only a matter of time before others do the same.

–Stuart Burns


Taiwan market: Chimei and BenQ to introduce LED-backlit LCD TVs in 2010

Taiwan-based LCD TV vendor Chimei has disclosed plans to launch LED-backlit LCD TVs in the Taiwan market in the second quarter of 2010, while fellow competitor BenQ reportedly will follow suit.

Chimei said it will launch 42- and 46-inch ultra-thin edge-type LED-backlit LCD TVs in the second quarter. Market sources said BenQ plans to launch 40-inch and larger LED TVs in mid 2010.

LED-backlit LCD TVs are expected to only account for 1% of the overall LCD TV market in Taiwan in 2009, as prices are still high. Their share in Taiwan will still be low at 3-5% in 2010, noted Cheng Liang-Bin, VP of Chimei's brand development division. He added that 4% of Chimei's LCD TVs in 2010 will be LED-backlit models.

LG Taiwan has noted that LG Electronics aims to ship 25 million LCD TVs in 2010 worldwide and LED-backlit models will account for 30%, or 7.5 million units, of the total shipments. But LED-backlit TVs will only account for 15% of LG's total LCD TV shipments in Taiwan next year, as LED TV prices in Taiwan are generally higher than in other markets, LG Taiwan added.

The company added that LG LED-backlit TV shipments will reach 400,000 units in 2009 worldwide.