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Taiwan: Aspirations and Challenges

Taiwan: Aspirations and Challenges

Enhancing Image and Competitiveness through "Innovalue"

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - Today, Acer Group Chairman and CEO Stan Shih addressed journalists at the 1999 International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress and 48th General Assembly in Taipei. In his speech entitled, Taiwan: Aspirations and Challenges, Shih expressed his viewpoint on what Taiwan must do to strengthen its competitiveness in the 21st century. As the world turns toward the Age of the Internet, Shih said, "Taiwan must enhance its competitiveness by creating product value through innovation, high-quality service, and by improving the country's overall image. A small country like Taiwan can become big in a global economy administered by the Age of the Internet, setting an example for developing countries to follow, and contributing more to the world."

In the past, Shih noted, competitiveness derived from low-cost labor and plain hard work. Taiwan used to cut costs to boost competitiveness - a strategy that proved highly effective before. Today, we depend on speed, flexibility, and inexpensive brainpower. But what Taiwan needs to do to enhance its competitiveness for the future is create value - to achieve another round of success by taking advantage of the Age of the Internet to make small become big. Taiwan's achievement of this goal would raise the country's standing to that of a true Global Citizen, and would blaze the trail for developing countries as well, to the benefit of the whole planet.

Shih added that as a major participant in today's trend toward global disintegration, Taiwan is adept at leveraging its speed, flexibility, well-educated workforce, and availability of capital to ally with the world's top IT players to upgrade and popularize PCs and chips. Taiwan is now world-class in terms of its competitiveness, entrepreneurship, manufacturing flexibility to suit OEM customers, and the level of education of its people, particularly in the high-tech fields. Taiwan's information industry is ranked third in the world; its semiconductor industry is ranked fourth; and it is ranked first in the manufacture of 13 different IT items, including notebooks, motherboards, monitors, scanners, keyboards, etc. Taiwan also has the advantages of sound governmental policies and a society that is rapidly becoming more democratic.

Although Taiwan has many rewarding attributes, Shih pointed out that the country faces a host of challenges: a small home market; low motivation to innovate; the lack of global Taiwanese brands; and the need to improve the image of, and cultivate more spokespeople for, what it means to be "Made in Taiwan."

Still, Shih expressed his firm belief that Taiwan has the capacity to go further, to achieve more, to evolve from a High-Tech Island to a Global Citizen. Indeed, as we embark upon the Age of the Internet, Shih trusts that even a small island like Taiwan can be a big-league player and make a grand contribution to the world in the next century. To realize this aspiration - to achieve this goal - Taiwan must augment its competitiveness via product value achieved through innovation, first-rate service, and an improved image.

Shih concluded by saying, "The cornerstone for enhancing Taiwan's image and competitiveness is to create "innovalue" - greater product value by way of innovation. As a pioneer of brand-name promotion in Taiwan, I would be pleased to act as spokesman for what it means to be 'Made in Taiwan' in an effort to bolster this country's competitiveness, overall standing, and contribution to the world, far into the future."

About The Acer GroupEstablished in 1976, Acer is the world's third-largest PC manufacturer, offering a broad selection of industry-leading high-end servers, multimedia PCs, notebooks, computer peripherals, components and semiconductors. The Acer Group employs more than 28,000 people in 120 enterprises spanning 37 countries worldwide, supporting dealers and distributors in over 100 countries. The Acer Group's revenues in 1998 were US $6.7 billion. For more information about The Acer Group, please visit our website at https://www.acer.com.