Taiwan or bust

By Paolo Del Nibletto


Well I made it to Taipei today. Or is it tomorrow? There is a 12 hour time difference (Eastern) so as you read this on Tuesday it will be Wednesday for me.

Last time I was here for the Computex Show it was quite eventful. The SARs outbreak practically clogged this city up, much as it did to Toronto. Many people here had masks on and at the airport all visitors and citizens were told to go through a full body scan. For those of you who remember the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Total Recall, a full body scan looks exactly like that.

However, it was also a time of great achievement for Taiwan, as they were putting the finishing touches on the largest office tower in the world – the Taipei 101 tower, which not surprisingly, has 101 floors. I will be visiting it today for the first time, and I’ll let you know what it’s like.

Taiwan also has a new leader. Ma Ying-Jeou took office last week and has vowed to improve political relations with its neighbour China.

A lot of the new computer manufacturing plants and flat panel fabs that were here in Taiwan are slowly moving over to China. The two main reasons are that land and building costs are lower in China than here, and the Taiwanese workers paid better than their Chinese counterparts. It will be interesting to see how the many computer vendors that make Taiwan their home will fare in the next few years.

I’m here for the Taiwan Excellence Event on behalf of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. During this week I will have the honour of interviewing the heads of Acer, Asus, D-Link, HTC and BenQ as well as the chairman of the Industrial Technology Research Institute and the Hsinchu Science Park Administration.

The computing industry here in Taiwan wants to show the world that it can still innovate and, possibly more important, provide value.

I’ll be providing daily updates of my travels and meetings here so make sure you come back to VARbose each day to find out if this region still has what it takes to compete in the IT industry.

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