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From Value One, Summer 2015 No. 49
Metal One Corporation (Taiwan) Ltd.
Shifting to an Export-Oriented Structure

Our company has thirty-one employees (twenty-two in the Taipei Branch, eight in the Kaohsiung Branch and one seconded and working abroad). Our annual steel trading volume is about 350,000 tonnes, and consists of about 60 percent Japanese products and about 40 percent Taiwanese. Taiwan is facing sluggish local demand for steel products. This is partly because a number of Taiwanese customers have started businesses in Mainland China. Given that environment, our biggest challenge has been to expand exports from Taiwan. Fortunately, we have been able to increase our export ratio from about 15 percent in FY2012 to about 40 percent now. We will seek to improve on that so that exports become the mainstay of our business.
Our national staff members pursue their duties in a straightforward manner, and work hard with a strong sense of responsibility and passion. They build relationships with customers to understand their needs instead of just waiting for a supervisor's instructions, and are highly effective at commercial activities.

Drink and Food Culture

When I came to Taiwan, I was surprised to see that drinking is a huge part of the culture and is used to build close ties between people. Kaoliang liquor—which is produced on Kinmen Island and is 58 percent alcohol—as well as whiskey, wine, Shaoxing wine and other drinks are served to make the first toast. This one-on-one tradition immediately creates a strong relationship with customers. These beverages go well with a considerable range of gastronomic delights, including Taiwanese, Hakka and Chinese cuisines, especially delicious seafood dishes. In addition, night markets—part of Taiwan's unique culture—have a number of stalls selling various local foods and snacks in a lively atmosphere. Taiwan is undoubtedly a paradise for foodies.

A Wealth of Sightseeing Possibilities

Taiwan always ranks among the top overseas destinations for Japanese travelers. Although the island is about one-tenth the size of Japan, there are 165 mountains exceeding three thousand meters here, while only 21 mountains do so in Japan. The highest, Yushan, stands 3,952 meters high, which is taller than Mount Fuji in Japan. There are many scenic spots on the eastern part of Taiwan surrounded by nature, including magnificent Taroko Gorge.
In the western part of Taiwan, major cities—including Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung—are connected via the Taiwan High Speed Rail system. Each city has a unique character. If you have never been to Taiwan or have a tight itinerary, I recommend that you visit the National Palace Museum, the National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine (the changing of the guard is a must-see), Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, and Jiufen.

Taroko Gorge: dynamic art created by Mother Nature


National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine: honor guard in perfect coordination

 

Birthrate and Aging Problems More Serious than in Japan

Taiwan is facing the serious social issues of a declining birthrate and an aging population. The birthrate declined to a record-low of 0.895 in 2010, which is also the world's lowest rate. According to a survey, 73.6 percent of respondents answered "an increased economic burden" as their reason not to have a child. Another significant cause is a trend to marry later or remain unmarried due to women's social progress. This issue will have a material effect on the state's financial health and stalled welfare policies. I hope Taiwan finds a solution in cooperation with Japan, which has the same problems.



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