Production of plastics and rubber machinery in Taiwan was down by over 30% in 2009 but the past three months has seen a surge in orders, with machine builders having to hire extra personnel to keep pace according to David Wu of the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI; Taipei), as reported by Plastics Today. The industry endured the 2008-2009 recession relatively well considering production was down 60% in Japan. This sector expects to return to 2008 levels in 2010. Machine demand is particularly strong for 2000 ton plus machines for the auto sector in China. Demand for 200-600 ton machines is strong from the appliance and computer industries.
Commenting on competition Taiwan faces from Chinese machine builders on the global stage, Chih-Peng Huang, director general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Economic Affairs stated, "We are concerned about the number of free trade agreements China is forming with its trade partners. We don't want to be locked out so we are negotiating with China to ensure a level playing field." Taiwan does have an advantage over China when it comes to the growth market of India, where Chinese machines are taxed with anti-dumping tariffs. "We have a golden opportunity to displace China in this market," says TAMI's Wu. TAMI Chairman feels that the current surge sustainable. This sector generally revolves around five-year growth cycles and this could be the start of one.