First-hand view of Taiwan machine tool industry

Over the last few years, I have traveled to Asia and the Far East several times to cover technology shows in China, Japan, and Singapore. So an invitation to Taiwan to tour various machinery companies around the island proved irresistible. I am headed there now for a tour of companies that will be exhibiting at the Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TITMOS) 2011, to take place March 1-6.

Named Formosa or “beautiful island” by early traders, Taiwan is located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It comprises 99% of the territory of the Republic of China, and such, is also a common name to refer to the Republic of China itself (not to be confused with the People's Republic of China.) The island is mountainous in the east with sloping plains in the west. It lies in tropical and subtropical zones. Taiwan is separated from the Asian continent by the 75-mile wide Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan's rapid economic growth in the decades after World War II has transformed it into an industrialized developed country and one of the so-called Four Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan). Other Asian countries such as Malaysia and Viet Nam are currently emerging as new players in the global high-tech economy.

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