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Source: Trade Business Media
Date published: 08 Oct 2008
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The Federal Government and business groups will band together to co-ordinate a major push to enhance Australia's ICT links with Taiwan.

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), and the Australia Taiwan Business Council (ATBC) are leading a group of Australian companies to Taitronics, one of Asia's premier ICT events.

Coinciding with Taitronics will be a conference on broadband technologies, and the continuation of negotiations to enhance the Australia-Taiwan Strategic Framework Agreement (ATSFA) on ICT collaboration.

Austrade's National ICT Industry Team Leader Peter Harrison says Australia's ICT export industry has much to gain from ATSFA's capacity to deliver closer links with Taiwan.

"Australia's ICT industry is highly innovative - contributing over $5.7 billion in goods and services exports to the Australian economy," Harrison says.

"However Australian companies can find barriers to the international market in the commercialisation, manufacture and distribution of their products."

As a way around this, he says a Taiwanese partner can provide a much easier pathway to market for Australian innovation, not just in North East Asia, but around the world.

"Taiwan is the world's leading ICT hardware supplier and an early adopter of new technology. Taiwan also represents a significant supply chain opportunity as Australian companies can benefit from the existing presence in international markets and the global business models of many of Taiwan's key players.

"Taiwan also has the capacity to leverage China's manufacturing capacity."

It is estimated that some 65 percent of China's electronics ICT industry production is managed by Taiwanese-owned firms."

Since ATSFA was implemented four years ago, some 45 commercial projects undertaken, according to Harrison.

He says current talks are aimed at taking the relationship to the next level.

Dr Bill Petreski, Chief Executive of the Australia-Taiwan Business Council says Taiwan is an important market to secure as it accounts for more than US$90 billion of global electronics production.

"One partnership that is forming is between an Australian entity and three of Taiwan's largest companies, ASUS, ACER and HTC. The partnership will bring new wireless technologies to home appliances that will enable seamless operation between TV's, DVD payers and iPods," Dr Petreski says.

"Also of interest is how this wireless technology will be applied to the emerging industry of Telemedicine, which involves the remote monitoring of patient health in the home, rather in a hospital."

Austrade's Taipei-based Senior Trade Commissioner Yvonne Chan says the strengths of Taiwan as an export destination, particularly in high-tech and knowledge based sectors, where often misunderstood.

"Economic ties with China have never been stronger. China is Taiwan's largest trading partner - which means doing business in Taiwan can help, not hinder, an Australian company looking to the mainland.

"Taiwan is also an important export destination in its own right. It is Australia's 8th largest trading partner, and per capita and companies-to-market comparisons indicate Taiwan can offer an easier first option to the region.

"Taiwan boasts a concentrated, highly educated, middle class consumer environment, a business culture that is English-friendly and tested in the international marketplace, and sophisticated knowledge-based industries that are constantly seeking and driving innovation."


Queensland Business Review - Trade Business Media
accessed on 2nd November 2008.