MiTAC-Synnex Group Chairman Matthew Miau
Get ASEAN Countries to 'Go North'
Matthew Miau argues that Taiwan cannot just “go south”, but that Southeast Asian countries should also “go north” to invest in Taiwan.
Get ASEAN Countries to 'Go North'By Rebecca Lin
From CommonWealth Magazine (vol. 602 )
Many enterprises have misgivings about the "New Southbound Policy" proposed by Taiwan's new administration, wondering just how they should go south, as well as how the policy will be implemented. Matthew F. C. Miau, chairman of the MiTAC-Synnex Group, has some suggestions.
Being the leader of Taiwan's third-largest company, behind Hon Hai Precision Industries (Foxconn) and the Formosa Plastics Group, with a revenue of NT$1.8 trillion last year, Miau argues that Taiwan cannot just "go south", but that Southeast Asian countries should also "go north" to invest, and the government needs to create a friendly, future-oriented business model. Following are the key points of Miau's speech:
Taiwan is promoting a Southbound Policy, which brings us into an interesting picture.
Recently I have been increasingly aware of the fact that it is the politicians and not we technology people who are controlling the world. On the positive side, politics play a very important role because policy determines future development trends; it has a very important influence.
Uber, for instance, is still illegal in Taiwan. Let us first not say it is right or wrong, but what we can definitely see is that technological developments and the formulation of rules and regulations sometimes clash. It is not that Taiwan lacks creativity or that Southeast Asia lacks opportunities, but that you face legal restrictions if you move too fast. The financial industry faces the same conundrum.
Then there is Taiwan's technological development, which has evolved from the Toyota-style "just in time" concept of some 30 years ago to the "supply chain" and further to the "value chain" today. Everyone must know their place in the food chain.
But Taiwan must catch up and link up to the world. Yet we are not part of the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and FTA [free trade agreements] with various countries, which will affect the survival of the manufacturing industry.
Thanks to Taiwan's textile technology, for instance, the quality of apparel keeps improving, but in the future we might be excluded when selling [our products] to Vietnam because Vietnam is a TPP nation whereas Taiwan is not.
This being the case, I am afraid that simply promoting a Southbound Policy won't work; we also need to wish for northbound investment from Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and other countries. However, given that Taiwan remains shut out of the TPP and FTAs, we must reach consensus as to which approach we want to take.
Furthermore, I believe that what enterprises should do with the gradual maturing of Ecotech is to build their own capability, their own values and competitive advantages.
Translated from the Chinese by Susanne Ganz