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10/8/2014 | 2 MINUTE READ

Taiwan’s Plastics Machinery Sector Dials Into iPhone’s Success

Originally titled 'Taiwan’s Plastics Machinery Sector Dials Into iPhone’s Success '
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If you have the new iPhone 6, you’re helping support the Taiwanese plastics and rubber machinery industry.


Consumer electronics and the Taiwanese economy have a very symbiotic relationship, owing to the island nation’s numerous electronics OEMs and contract manufacturers, including increasingly household names like HTC, Asus, Acer, Quanta, and Foxconn.


That shared prosperity was on display in Taipei as the 14th edition of Taipei Plas got underway in mid-September at the Nangang International Exhibition Center. The biennial show set a record for booths (2670) and drew 530 total exhibitors, with the number of exhibitors and booths up 12 and 16%, respectively, according to co-organizer, TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Development Council).


David Wu, who in addition to being the general manager of vertical injection molding machine specialist Multiplas also serves on the board of the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry’ (TAMI) Rubber and Plastic Machinery group, referenced the latest iPhone in his comments during the Taipei Plas opening ceremony.


Noting that from January to August, the plastics and rubber machinery sector experienced 2% growth, despite global economic struggles, Wu said the industry’s expansion was in part derived from the success of Apple’s latest phone, which sold more than 10 million units in its opening weekend. Wu noted that some of the machinery used in the phone’s production hails 100% from Taiwan, and the phone’s mega launch had directly impacted the local economy, actually nudging the country’s industrial index higher, pushing it to a smart phone/tablet fueled record in August.


In further comments, Wu gave a shout out to a Foxconn executive in attendance, with that gentleman half rising from his chair and acknowledging the gathered dignitaries and media. Foxconn and Apple are also linked, and not always in a positive light, but the Taiwanese company has undoubtedly benefited from Apple’s rise.


“I think we can expect eve more growth in the coming months.” Wu said, noting other impending technology launches, including from Apple’s Korean rival, Samsung. “The fact that Taiwanese suppliers have been chosen by companies like Apple and Samsung means we are very capable.”


Reflecting the importance of the sector and the show, Taiwan’s vice president, Den-Yih Wu (pictured at top), spoke at the opening ceremony, garnering a laugh from the crowd when instead of Apple called out a local brand.


“What about HTC?” Wu asked rhetorically, brushing aside talk about Apple and Samsung. “Are we getting local orders?”


The Taiwanese government is banking on more orders, domestically and from abroad, with construction underway on an expansion to the Nangang Exhibition Center. Behind the stage the vice president spoke from, a row of windows overlooked the construction site, with the expansion set to be completed by the end of 2016, and the new space, connected under Nangang Road and the Metro train line via tunnel, available for Taipei Plas 2018.