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  • President Ma attends opening of 2011 Taipei International Machine Tool Show
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President Ma attends opening of 2011 Taipei International Machine Tool Show
President Ma Ying-jeou on the morning of March 1 attended the opening of the 2011 Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS 2011), which is being held at the Nangang Exhibition Hall. The president, along with Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Jung-Chiou Hwang, Taiwan External Trade Development Council Chairman Chih Kang Wang, Taipei City Deputy Mayor Chen Wei-Zen, and Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry Chairman Hsiu-Tsang Hsu together pressed a switch, symbolizing the formal opening of the six-day trade show.

In remarks to the gathering, President Ma said that TIMTOS is Taiwan's largest, Asia's second largest, and the world's third largest machine tool show. The show makes use of not only the Nangang Exhibition Hall, but also the No. 1, 2, and 3 Exhibition Halls of the Taipei World Trade Center.

The president remarked that the machine tool industry has long been one of Taiwan's most developed and best performing industries. During the economic downturn two years ago, the output of machine tools here receded to NT$82 billion, but last year output value rapidly returned to NT$165 billion, making Taiwan the world's fifth largest manufacturer of machine tools and the fourth largest global exporter of machine tools. These statistics point to the prowess displayed by the local machine tool sector, he said.

President Ma pointed out that Taiwan and mainland China last year signed the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement and the machine tool industry was a major focus of the negotiations. The Taiwan side was able to have a portion of Taiwan's machine tool products included on the early harvest list, and the government will further negotiate on behalf of the industry. President Ma called on Taiwan's machine tool makers, regardless of whether they carry out R&D independently or in collaboration with foreign manufacturers, to further boost the local content rate of their products, so as to enhance the industry's competitiveness.

President Ma noted that Taiwan has excelled in recent years in innovation and R&D. Taiwan ranks first globally in the number of utility patents per million population. It has also twice won the group championship at the iENA International Trade Fair in Nuremberg, and this year captured nearly one-third of the prizes at Germany's iF design awards. This, he remarked, demonstrates that the people of Taiwan are especially strong in invention, innovation, and design. The president said he hopes that the machine tool industry will continue to work hard, adding that the government will definitely provide all necessary assistance. He also expressed his hope that TIMTOS will serve as a platform for learning, observing, and challenging oneself, and that it will create a foundation for the industry to have an even brighter future.
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