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Taiwan Should Hold Computer Lead

December 26, 1997

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Taiwan is expected to turn out some 40 million computer monitors this year to maintain its position as the top producer in the world, officials said Friday.

According to the semi-official Institute for Information Industry, Taiwanese makers produced at home and abroad about 53 percent of the world’s total output of monitors.

The volume represents a 16 percent increase from last year, the institute said.

Taiwan could continue to dominate the world monitor market next year, since rival South Korean makers are pressured to cut production costs and put off new investments because of that country’s economic crisis, institute officials said.

Taiwanese makers are expected to turn out 4.6 million notebook computers this year, making it the world’s second largest maker of the product after Japan’s estimated 5.25 million, the institute said.

Giant Japanese makers, such as Toshiba and NEC, chose to make more notebook computers in Japan than contract the work to Taiwanese makers because the devaluation of the Japanese yen made production at home cheaper, officials said.

But with the mass production of key component Liquid Crystal Display that could further drive down prices, the Japanese makers may seek to have more notebook computers produced in Taiwan to reduce costs, the institute said.

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