Taiwanese textile industry need to develop into a complete supply chain and compete through quality instead of quantity as it is hard to compete with China through quantity, said Taiwan Man-Made Fiber Industries Association (TMMFA) chairman Hou Po-ming on Wednesday.
According to the latest industry data China controls 73 percent of the global chemical fiber market share while Taiwan only holds 2.9 percent.
With opportunities lie in high-end functional fabrics and other smart applications, the industry could make use of global trends in sports and leisure activities.
Taiwanâ€™s functional fabrics have a global market share of 70 percent, with more than 50 percent of the worldâ€™s fireproof fabrics produced in Taiwan and eight out of 10 yoga apparel lines sold in the US manufactured by Taiwanese companies.
The association said that the nationâ€™s textile industry has the upper hand in research and design, as well as the capability to supply high-end products to downstream industries, global brands and channel distributors.
As the industry as a whole is responsible for the livelihood of 150,000 Taiwanese families, Hou urged the incoming government, which is to take
office on May 20, to work on joining regional economic agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership soon to eliminate tariffs.
Otherwise, Taiwanese firmsâ€™ profits will be eroded by high tariffs in the region.
Hou, who is also vice chairman of Tainan Spinning Co, the nationâ€™s largest polyester staple fiber and yarn manufacturer and also the largest yarn supplier in Vietnam said that the 61-year-old company in a bid to increase its output value has upgraded its plants to utilize automated production processes.
The company mainly processes orders for fabrics and garment suppliers, operates yarn factories in Taiwan and Vietnam.
Hou further said that another plant in Vietnam is to become operational by the end of this year, which would enable the company to produce up to 600,000 spindles of yarn per year in Vietnam.
In the first quarter, Tainan Spinningâ€™s revenue dropped 20.42 percent to NT$4.2 billion from a year earlier. The companyâ€™s outlook would improve with each quarter after hitting trough in the first quarter and on the back recovery signs in orders this month.
Last year, the Taiwanese textile sector generated NT$434.7 billion (US$13.5 billion) in production value, with NT$118.6 billion coming from synthetic fiber production, as per the data show by the association.
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