New Year Reflections from the Recently Re-elected Chairman of the TWMA, Mr. Bill Hung
Wfd: How does it feel to be re-elected as Chairman of the TWMA? BH: I was very much honored to be re-elected as the Chairman of the TWMA on November 19, 2006. I have accepted the position and feel both excited and somewhat nervous in my heart. This is because in the coming years there will be important turning points for the Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry in many aspects such as: production methods, some marketing and global strategies. These all need to be addressed well for the industry to remain healthy and grow. Additionally, I am thankful for the support of the incumbent Directors and Supervisors of the TWMA in allowing me the opportunity to continue serving the Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry. Wfd: Please give any highlights/reflections about yourself and/or the TWMA during 2006. BH: It could be said that 2006 was a difficult year for the industry in that the production value and export amount decreased by as much as 15%. One of the reasons for this is that Asian furniture manufacturing has faced a steep decline. Also, the Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry focuses on Asian markets which mainly sell to the U.S. and that market has also experienced competition from outside Asia. This is a problem that the Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry cannot avoid and if the facts of the situation can be realized beforehand by extending into alternative global markets, then any crisis could be avoided. Personally, I keep emphasizing the importance of embracing dispersed international markets to be defined by the actual exported product. For example, over the last decade, Taiwanese woodworking machinery manufacturers have been strongly involved in markets in South-east Asia and China. However, furniture from these markets is primarily sold to the U.S.A. and whilst Taiwanese imported and exported products are active in South-east Asian and American markets, it may appear that the industry has dispersed itself well. This is not a clear definition of my meaning of dispersed markets. Take my own company, Boarke Machine Co., Ltd., for example. Five years ago, we realized the importance of dispersed international markets as well as their definition and embarked upon extending into virgin markets in Eastern Europe, India and South America. Through these efforts we made some achievements in these new markets. For the Taiwanese woodworking machinery industry, 2006 was not such a strong year and so that is why I advocate the concept of dispersed markets and new international marketing strategies to be vital. Wfd: What are some of the TWMA's plans for 2007? BH: In the coming years, obtaining land for industry will be important for success. Most Taiwanese woodworking machinery manufacturers are not based in an industrial area and our industry can indeed contribute a lot of economic benefit to Taiwan. However, the central government does not pay attention to the woodworking machinery industry and can not even carry out economic or land policies for us. Therefore, in 2007 and in the immediate future, I plan for the TWMA to place importance on the establishment of a specialized woodworking machinery industrial district. Also, during this time, I seriously hope that through our combined efforts and ideas that the industry will become stronger and its international marketing ability will improve.
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