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Green Trade Project Office

STC International, a Taiwanese company specialized in solar energy system integration, under the assistance of Green Trade Project Office(GTPO), Taiwan External Trade Council and Industrial Technology Research Institute(ITRI),successfully built its presence from the ground up in the ASEAN market. From NGOs to retail restaurants, STC’s solutions are being adopted in ASEAN nations thanks to its leading technology and services. STC is a perfect example of a SME bringing its flexibilities and niche focus into full play.

It all started in 2017 when STC International took part in ITRI’s trade promotion delegation and visited the rural village in Cambodia, the aim of the trip was to build solar power system for a local NGO. ‘ This NGO regularly invites doctors to the village to provide volunteer medical services. Electronic devices and cooling equipment for medical purpose require basic power supply, but local power supply is very unstable and power outages are frequent.’

Farming, retail stores and manufacturing factories all adopt solar energy system

After GTPO introduced STC International to the Cambodian NGO, STC International soon put together a comprehensive system including illumination, fans, solar panels, energy storage and cooling devices for this customer. As soon as the system entered service, ‘the NGO is the only place that is brightly lit after sunset with a few miles around the neighborhood. Local businesses and stores were amazed and came to us for solar system infrastructure.’Polun Chen, General Manager of STC International said that coffee shops, Chinese-language cram schools and other business operators all become his customers. He said that before STC came, local community used to have a false impression that solar system was expensive and dangerous. With the NGO became a model site, people quickly accepted solar energy with confidence.

Since its first entry to Cambodia in 2017, STC International’s customers have expanded from Angkor Wat to the capital Phnom Penh. STC’s energy solutions have been adopted in farming irrigation systems, retail and catering, and small factories. Take irrigation for example, diesel generators was widely used by farmers for groundwater mining, which created rumbling noises and air pollution. Also, replenishing diesel fuel was inconvenient. All these problems are solved after solar panel and storage was installed.

Japan, Korea and China focus on large-scale infrastructure while Taiwanese suppliers are prevailing in small projects.

ASEAN countries have attracted businesses from around the world because of their huge population and market potentials. In the face of global competition, what edge should Taiwan businesses focus on? STC International shared its experiences. ASEAN is full of business opportunities and yet highly competitive. Companies from Japan, Korea and China have been dedicating in local market for long. Taiwan businesses need to leverage its strength, which is small in scale, flexible in pro-action and reaction, as well as great after-sale service.

STC International shared its experiences and suggested that when developing ASEAN market, Taiwanese companies are better off focusing on small-scale pilot projects rather than large-scale infrastructure such as power plants and subways. Pilot projects may be small in revenue return, but with words of mouth, similar projects are abundant out there for Taiwanese companies to win. Such market niche will enable Taiwanese companies to establish a strong foothold in the ASEAN markets.