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What's‌ ‌in‌ ‌store‌ ‌for‌ ‌Taiwan's‌ ‌Fasteners?‌ ‌ ‌

Dec 07, 2020 | By CENS

Taiwan's fasteners have long been the top contributors to the island's exports, renowned globally as a prominent manufacturer. Last year, this island shipped out fasteners valued at USD$4.31 billion, just behind China, Germany, and the U.S. In terms of outbound volume, Taiwan ranks second place worldwide. The local industry here has gained its sterling reputation with their prompt delivery, excellent quality, and competitive functionality.

To maintain its competitiveness, a trend has begun to present itself in the sector, marking a new era of added-valued fasteners. Taiwanese fastener firms have started designing and producing nuts and bolts for specific applications and fields to boost added value. These fields include engine screws used in aviation, fasteners for medical use, and screws for automotive.

CSC chairman Wong Chao-tung once remarked that the price tag of a regular, standard screw redesigned for automotive use could see a three-fold increase; aerospace-used screws could see a hundred-fold growth. For fasteners used in artificial tooth roots, a single screw usually priced at NT$20 could sell for a whopping NTD$3,500.

According to Zion Market Research's estimates, between 2016 to 2022, the global industrial fastener market revenue could reach USD$11.65 million by 2022. Market growth of fasteners is fueled by increasing demand in the automotive, aerospace, and building sectors. In terms of regional outlooks, fastener growth is correlated to the infrastructure development in emerging countries in the Asian region; this goes similarly for markets rapidly advancing in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Developed countries would be focusing on special specifications or customized orders.

These projections are optimistic at best, as countries and economies have already been considering or moving to new production hubs since the trade tensions between the U.S. and China have forced hands or accelerated plans. Economic struggles have only worsened due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. While Taiwan's economy has remained relatively stable, more traditional sectors are slow to digitalize its operations, lacking urgency compared to its competitors in other countries, where lockdowns and restricted movement have forced them to adapt. Continual innovation, digitalization, and moving towards a smart factory environment are essential for Taiwan's ability to maintain its competitive edge.

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