Alternatives to China
Once the source of many of the world’s cheap goods, Taiwan has become a global force in electronics industry
The tag “Made in Taiwan” has come a long way since the island first emerged as a post-war manufacturing powerhouse. Once the source of many of the world’s cheap goods, Taiwan had become a global force in electronics industry by 1990s. In the process, industrial design has moved away from traditional low-cost production to the creation of original, high-value products.
By implementing Western industrial processes and using cheap domestic labor, Taiwan became highly self-sufficient and capable of producing almost anything demanded by overseas clients. Now Taiwan is a manufacturing hub for some of the world’s most powerful brands.
An IT powerhouse
Taiwan has been a true “shining star” of the technology sphere for the past few decades. Some of most robust technology companies in the world were established in Taiwan, including ASUS and Acer. These domestic IT powerhouses produce a vast range of items, from desktop computers, tablets, flat screens and phones, to motherboards, graphic cards and servers.
These companies are certainly on-par with their close neighbours Korea & Japan in terms of quality and technological know-how.
Taiwan’s top export industries
The structure of Taiwan’s exports is heavily oriented towards intermediate and capital goods.
Taiwan’s top export industries are:
– Electrical machinery, equipment.
– Machinery, including computers.
– Plastics, plastic articles.
– Articles of iron or steel.
– Optical, technical, medical apparatus.
– Knit or crochet fabric.
– Base metal tools, cutlery.
Taiwan may be not your best choice for sourcing something like ready-made garments. But in terms of electronics, plastics, household goods Taiwan is an attractive alternative to China.
Taiwan has well established shipping ports both in the north and south of the island. These serve as hubs for many international shipments, and almost all reputable logistics companies have a branch office in close vicinity. Transporting goods within the country is relatively expensive, however this is offset by the small size of the island and the proximity of factory locations to the main shipping ports.
Cost of Sourcing in Taiwan vs China
Expect to be paying nearly 30% more than what you would be paying in China for factory man-hours, tooling & molding and per-unit costs. However, this is not as bad as it might sound because the higher cost is almost always accompanied by superior quality, more reliable scheduling, and lower order quantity requirements.
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