TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is expected to suffer a drop in exports due to raw material shortages and flagging global demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said on Monday (March 9) that Taiwanese businesses based in China and Taiwan have felt the impact of the unrelenting virus scare in different ways, reported UDN.
For manufacturers operating in China, the hardest-hit country, there have been recruitment challenges, bumps in the road for work resumption, inadequate supply, as well as logistics issues. Supply chain disruption is common, and a short-term fix is to adjust overseas production, while a long-term solution lies in relocating high-end product manufacturing to Taiwan and low-end to Southeast Asia.
As for manufacturers based in Taiwan, production has for the most part maintained momentum, but some firms have inevitably been affected by shortages in raw materials. This is because they are used to relying on materials imported from China and hence have been exposed to the supply chain derailment.
The decline in orders for Taiwan-made finished and intermediate goods is also set to dent export growth, the minister reckoned.
Taiwan is still estimated to see a more than 10 percent year-on-year export growth for February, after factoring in returnee investment, as the coronavirus fallout has not been reflected, CNA quoted Lai Yi-hsin (賴怡欣) as saying, an economist at the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute.