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We too can shine on the global stage

Over the summer I had a chance to tour close to a dozen varied businesses in Taiwan courtesy of the Taiwan Trade Center in Toronto.


The parallels and differences to Canada became quite apparent as I listened to many presentations about how that tiny island “nation,” ostracized on the world political

stage, is seeing branding as the key to global economic success. The Branding Taiwan project of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is assisting its native companies market more successfully now and in the future.

Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China (not to be confused with the People’s Republic of China or “mainland” China), is slightly larger than the land mass of Vancouver, but has just over 23 million people. The Taiwanese economy, one of the four Asian “Tigers,” far outstrips its physical stature in the world.

In my report in the September/October 2010 issue of Canadian Electronics, I have been able to provide a snapshot of the progress Taiwan has made in branding itself internationally

– see how many of these corporate names you recognize and perhaps how many of their products you might already own.

The interesting thing about Taiwan is that it feels the same pull to “offshore” its manufacturing to the mainland, much the same way that plants in Canada and the U.S. are doing. Corporations there, however, are keeping their R&D, administration and marketing organization on the island to maintain intellectual property control and their global identities.

Naturally, companies in Taiwan want you to do business with them, and it can help. Icron of Burnaby, BC, for example, is partnering with an ODM (original design manufacturer) in Taiwan to make its USB communication devices.

The bankruptcy of Nortel Networks has certainly besmirched the Canadian brand on the world stage and unleashed a lot of engineering and design talent in the Ottawa area. Canadian

Electronics correspondent Mark Sunderland, himself an electrical engineer and president of the BioMedical Industry Group based there, is optimistic that all is not lost in the National Capital Region.

His cover story profile of DA-Integrated, an Ottawa-based wide-range integrated circuit design and test service company, shows what one company has done to bring its “brand” to the world, boasting 50 clients and a knack for innovation.

According to Sunderland, DA-Integrated recently added “MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) production testing, delivered by using a combination of traditional IC test equipment and an intelligent handler board called the DA MEMs carrier. By leveraging traditional IC test equipment, this innovative approach offers lower development cost, higher tester capacity, scalability and lower per unit test cost.”

Canadian Electronics wants to bring you the best of what our country has to offer, so if your company has a story to tell, let me know. We can show the world we’re more than just “hewers of wood, drawers of water.”
medwards.annex@gmail.com