Science parks post record revenues in 2016

Taiwan's three science parks posted combined revenues of NT$2.38 trillion (US$78.02 billion) in 2016, up 2.94 percent year on year to a record high, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology March 21.

Hsinchu Science Park in northern Taiwan led the way with NT$1.04 trillion in total revenue. While this represents a drop of 5.61 percent from the previous year, the decline was more than offset by a 16 percent increase at Southern Taiwan Science Park in Kaohsiung and Tainan cities to an all-time high of NT$829.6 billion. Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung City posted a 3.1 percent gain to reach NT$507.4 billion.

The integrated circuit sector remained the top revenue generator at the parks, with figures rising 8.67 percent year on year to NT$1.57 trillion, or 66.18 percent of the overall total. Precision machinery and biotechnology recorded the highest annual growth rates, registering double-digit increases of 19.32 percent and 15.25 percent to NT$97.83 billion and NT$22.06 billion, respectively.

According to the MOST, the parks' strong performance is due to surging demand for advanced semiconductor equipment, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, as well as processors for notebook computers and handheld communication devices such as smartphones.

The three science parks reported exports of NT$1.51 trillion during the period, up 9.91 percent to the highest figure on record, while imports totaled NT$824.65 billion, an annual increase of 13.97 percent.

In addition, a total of 71 firms from home and abroad, including 17 startups, set up shop in the parks last year, bringing in investment of NT$15.06 billion. This was on top of NT$43.11 billion in new outlays by 51 existing outfits.

Major investments include the expansion of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.'s 12-inch foundry at CTSP, which is expected to begin mass production of 10-nanometer chips in the third quarter of this year. The global foundry leader is also planning to set up advanced manufacturing facilities at STSP, with construction set to commence later this year and trial production of 5-nm chips scheduled to start in the first half of 2019.

As a result of increased business activity and a series of job promotion initiatives, the three parks reported a record combined workforce of 269,041, up 3,950 from the previous year.

With economic conditions continuing to stabilize at home and abroad and local IC firms maintaining their global competitive edge in advanced processing technologies, the MOST said it expects revenues at the three facilities to grow 3.58 percent in 2017.

Source: Taiwan Today