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September 26, 2017

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Well 'Made-in-Taiwan' for a better tomorrow

A soaring number of Taiwanese designers and manufacturers are now showing a key interest in Made-in-Taiwan (MIT) textile products that blend innovative fashion with a traditional flare.

Today, the smiley-face MIT logo is easy to find on a wide range of merchandise at department stores, convenience stores, retail shops, Taipei's MRT and even on online platforms such as PChome and Yahoo! Taiwan.

"In the past, some people would avoid products made in Taiwan. But now, more and more customers are looking for MIT-certified items because of the assurance of quality the products offer," said Woody T. J. Duh (杜紫軍), director general of the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB, 工業局), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA, 經濟部).

The silver and red logo has come to stand for safety, quality and good prices: silver represents the pureness of MIT-certified products, while red highlights the zeal of Taiwanese people.

To further ensure that local consumers, not fully understanding what label terminology actually means, are not fooled by wording, the government and various MIT-certified businesses, such as the Deeno Lifestyle Museum (緹諾時尚生活館), are further inviting the public to visit MIT-certified factories and experience firsthand the making of truly Made-in-Taiwan products.

Seeing is Believing

The family-oriented recreation museum recently opened in western Yunlin County (雲林縣) — Taiwan's traditional center for bath towels and other quality fabrics — and will soon be integrated into new tourism routes developed by the Tourism Bureau (觀光局).

Recall that about 30 years ago, some people avoided products made in Taiwan; the label acted as an indicator of quick, cheap manufacturing rather than a guarantee of product origin and quality.

With the liberalization of Taiwan's economy, "MIT-certified items give new options to local consumers who are looking for assurances on the products they purchase," Duh pointed out.

"With help from the government, MIT-certified items, such as towels from Yunlin, silk socks from Changhua and many other textile products, are promoted directly to the public, bypassing traditional business-to-business operations," he added.

According to Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球), Taiwan's market has long been under pressure because of the island's soaring production costs. While the MOEA succeeded in promoting exports over the same period, he remarked that the government failed to stimulate "domestic consumption."

"The MIT-certification aims to bridge the gap between manufacturers and customers," he told The China Post on the sidelines of Deeno Lifestyle Museum's grand opening on Nov. 26.

As Taiwan has acquired a competitive advantage by upgrading its technology to focus on performance textiles, performance fabrics and environmentally friendly materials, the government must make sure that Taiwan stays ahead of the competition "by boasting confidence in locally-made products," he continued.

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