Ontario MPP’s Taiwan Business Trip
Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson has just returned from representing Simcoe-Grey and the Province of Ontario at business meetings in Taiwan. The week long trip featured a packed schedule and was arranged and paid for by the Taipei Economic and Cultural office, with a mandate to promote bilateral trade, investment, culture, science and technology exchanges and cooperation between Canada and Taiwan.
“They are very actively working with western democracies and in fact this is the second trip with Ontario MPP’s. On this most recent trip we also had one representative from New Brunswick and another from Prince Edward Island” Saunderson said.
Simcoe-Grey MPP Saunderson said a delegation of Ontario MPP’s visited Taiwan just before Christmas, noting two additional trips between Christmas and this most recent trip involved Federal MP’s. “They are working very hard on strengthening our trade connections but also just our relationship in general.”
Saunderson said twenty-four million people live in Taiwan, an island approximately 450 kilometres in length. The Ontario delegation was treated to a trip on the high speed train from the capital city of Taipei, south to Tainan.
“The level of sophistication of their transit in general was most impressive. We went to the headquarters of the subway system in Taipei where there are four different lines and interestingly, the first line – the Brown line – uses Bombardier equipment” Saunderson said. He added the system adequately handles approximately 1.7 million commuters daily.
MPP Saunderson said he and other MPP’s attended meetings with import and export corporations and industry and technology executives to discuss present and possible future business opportunities.
Electrification of Public Transit Vehicles of Special Interest to MPP Saunderson
“We met some company officials from the private sector dealing with the electrification of buses. They have extremely sophisticated fully accessible electric buses in service. Each bus had room for approximately 40 seated passengers, standing room and space for an additional 5 wheel chair passengers.”
The electric vehicles and the success of the electric vehicle program were of particular interest to MPP Saunderson in light of the growing list of Simcoe-Grey businesses that are presently manufacturing electric vehicles including mining and heavy equipment for world-wide distribution.
Advanced Expertise in Computer Chip Production
A frequent discussion point focused on Taiwan’s production of computer chips, and the world’s dependence on this country’s advanced expertise in this area. “They manufacture between 50 and 60 percent of all computer chips globally, but more importantly they produce over 80 percent of the highly specialized sophisticated computer chips, filling an absolute world-wide niche market in this area. They reminded us of that quite frequently because if China were ever to move aggressively against Taiwan that would probably be one of the first international implications commercially.”
An earlier CNBC online publication headline read: “The global shortage of chips that forced several automakers to halt production has brought attention to Taiwan’s outsized role in semiconductor manufacturing.” This speaks to the findings made by MPP Saunderson on his visit to Taiwan.
Today, designers and manufacturers everywhere are busily working to expand domestic semiconductor production and to manufacture smaller, better, and more advanced chips to help ease the world’s current dependence on Taiwan production of these products.
Taiwan Business Trip Discussion
Listen to the POINT2POINT PODCAST with Trent Gow and MPP Saunderson to learn more about the Taiwan business trip.