Taipei, March 31 (CNA) Taiwan had more than 80,000 operational plants at the end of 2015, of which 440 were semiconductor plants that generated more than NT$2 trillion (US$65.88 billion) in revenue that year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Friday.
The ministry's Department of Statistics said that although the semiconductor plants accounted for only 0.5 percent of the total number of 83,532 plants, they generated 13 percent of total plant revenue in 2015.
Economic officials said that the emergence of smart mobile devices, the Internet of Things, cloud applications and the upgrading of notebook computers, ensured revenue in the semiconductor sector grew 5.2 percent year-on-year, or twice that of manufacturing industry, making it a major driver of economic growth.
In terms of semiconductor clusters, plants in northern Taiwan accounted for 70 percent of the total, while about 16 percent were in southern Taiwan.
In terms of workforce, plants with more than 200 employees at the end of 2015 accounted for 2.2 percent, but supported 1.12 million employees.
The revenue of big plants hit NT$9.6 trillion, accounting for 60 percent of total revenue, with a profit ratio of 8.8 percent.
The revenue of electronic components sector hit NT$4 trillion, the highest of all sectors.
Medium-sized plants employed the most people, accounting for 43 percent of the total, or 1.18 million.
In contrast, although small plants made up 70 percent of all plants, they employed only 14 percent of the total workforce and achieved a profit ratio of 3 percent.
The budget for research and development in the manufacturing industry was NT$487 billion in 2015, or 3 percent of total revenue.
The computer, electronics and optical sectors invested about 11 percent of their revenues on R&D, the highest in any sector.
Purchases of foreign technology totaled NT$160.1 billion in 2015, with 88 percent coming from the United States and Japan.
Technology exported from Taiwan to other countries totaled NT$41.2 billion in 2015, mostly to mainland China and Singapore.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel