A weekly snapshot of Taiwan business news stories brought to you by CommonWealth and AmCham Taiwan’s TOPICS
Manufacturing Activity Continues to Flourish
The Chung-Hwa Institution for Economic Research (CIER) announced on September 1 that its Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) had fallen 3.1 points in August to 62.1. Although the PMI has maintained a score of over 60 points for a consecutive 10 months, the pace of expansion in August was the slowest it had been all year.
CIER President Chang Chuang-chang noted that overall, the manufacturing sector will be increasingly prosperous or at least break even over the long term, with semiconductor orders being the most salient in 2022 and 2023. In August, the Future Outlook Index, which tracks manufacturers’ economic outlook for the coming six months, increased for the 13th consecutive month.
However, Chang emphasized that the potential impact of the Delta variant is something that requires continued observation.
Taiwan’s New Tourism Website Panned for Timing, Design
“Time for Taiwan,” an online platform established by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, was launched on September 1. The website brings together various Taiwan travel-related videos and other media to introduce the island’s scenic areas, travel itineraries and tourist spots, food and accommodation, and products that can be purchased across the island.
The move to create such a website at a time when Taiwan is still mostly closed off to international travel came in for some criticism online. A number of observers who have spent many years in Taiwan and pay close attention to its tourism policies, criticized the website’s lackluster design, issues with the English copy in some places, and the lack of sufficient promotion of it on social media and other channels.
One commentator, Kathy Cheng, who runs the lifestyle and culture blog Tricky Taipei, lamented on Twitter that the Tourism Bureau spent taxpayer dollars on the Time for Taiwan website, which will be online for only one year.
Property Developers Seize on Improving COVID-19 Situation to Roll Out New Projects
As Taiwan’s pandemic situation begins to ease, pre-sales of properties in the island’s north are exploding. Local property industry publication My Housing Monthly has indicated that developers plan to roll out at least nine pre-sale and newly completed development projects with an estimated total sales value of NT$150 billion (US$5.4 billion) in northern Taiwan.
Ho Shih-chang, research manager at My Housing Monthly, said that after Taiwan’s pandemic alert was reduced in late July, deferred property orders began to be withdrawn one after another. Ho predicts that the housing market will gradually warm back up before year’s end. He added that sales of properties in the Zaojhen development project in New Taipei City’s Linkou District will likely increase, while the ratio of smaller properties will fall.