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Trade Talk | October 2015

Taiwan machine tool industry´s output is expected to increase 1.3-1.5% by 2017

- Pico Chien, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA),
ISC for Mechanical & Chemical Industries Section, Market Development Department, Project Manager


The Indian machine tool industry is ranked 14th and 10th in global production and use of machine tools, respectively. India accounts for machine tools worth Rs 12,500 crore every year, about 40 per cent of which are produced for the domestic market. How will the machine and tools manufacturing companies get advantage of the situation?
According to IMTMA India, the Government of India is expected to boost manufacturing - one of achieving 25 per cent share in overall GDP by the year 2025 (from the present 16 per cent); to have concerted focus on technology and depth value addition; and to generate for the country a hundred million manufacturing jobs. The automotive industry, for instance, has set a focus to manufacture five million vehicles by 2015 and nine million by 2020. The auto component industry, likewise, is setting itself a target of manufacturing $145 billion worth of ancillaries over the next five years. Similar is the story in the consumer durable segment as well as in the capital goods industry.

There is equally a subtle shift in demand in infrastructure, energy, construction & material-handling, healthcare, besides defence, aerospace and medical engineering sectors. These industries are seeking more manufacturing technology solutions - some currently out of reach of Indian machine tool suppliers. This situation accelerate local manufacturers to expand production capacity and upgrading manufacturing technology.

Most Indian machine tool makers, however, lack financial resources and technological know-how, making them less likely to satisfy market demand for more advanced models. Hence, these types of machine tool are being supplied from overseas. What are the significant qualities in Taiwan made machine tools? Need to R&D work by their industry?
The ability of Taiwan machine tools to compete with other countries without the support of a strong car industry or huge domestic demand depends entirely on Taiwan´s flexibility and adaptability. This ability to provide customised services underpins the exceptional competitiveness that is the hallmark of the Taiwan machine tool industry. Several factors have driven this success.

Industry clusters: Taiwan is home to world-class industry clusters for the machine tool industry. Viewed from the air, there is a swath of countryside some 60km long and 14km wide that runs along the Dadu Plateau of central Taiwan. This so-called Golden Valley:

  • Home for more than 1,000 precision machinery manufacturers and upwards of 10,000 downstream suppliers
  • Employs more than 3,00,000 people
  • Has an annual output of $3 billion
  • Has the highest output value per unit area and the highest density of any machine tool industry cluster in the world.

Without this cluster, Google´s solar farms in the desert would be unable to follow the sun; the top four equipment suppliers for the global semiconductor and display panel industries also use components from here. Without them, the semiconductor and display panel industries would find their supply chains cut. Car components for the German and Italian manufacturers, as well as gears for General Motors, Porsche and Hyundai, all come from this industry cluster. Even China, the world´s largest car market, principally depends on this Golden Valley of precision machine tools for its mold processing equipment.

The Taiwan machine tool industry is even able meet the stringent requirements of Apple, which depends on this industry cluster as well as the Taiwan indus

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