Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ma: Taiwan focuses on six core industries

On March 25th, President Ma Ying-jeou again reiterated his intention to promote biotechnology, green energy, tourism, healthcare, cultural innovation and refined agriculture as Taiwan’s new star industries. He said these six core industries would become the central economic drivers of Taiwan, allowing the island’s people to maintain their high living standards.

Already, Taiwan’s government has responded with the “biotechnology takeoff package,” setting forth an ambitious set of goals aimed at reinvigorating the island’s biotechnology industries. The government projects that the sector will have an annual production value of over US$29.5 billion within 10 years.

In order to stimulate the industry, the government plans to set up a US$1.8 billion biotechnology venture capital fund, with 40 percent of the capital coming from the government’s National Development Fund and the remaining 60 percent from the private sector. A portion of the funds will go towards the cost of opening new biotechnology parks to help kick-start new domestic and foreign biotechnology ventures.

In addition, the government intends to establish a food and drug administration similar to the regulatory body found in the United States. By bringing Taiwan’s pharmaceutical products up to international standards, the government hopes to raise the industry’s profile and increase its market share. In 2007, the pharmaceutics and medical equipment markets accounted for US$194 billion and US$714 billion, respectively.

As well as developing the six core industries, Ma emphasized the importance of pursuing a higher quality of life for the island’s people through innovation and creativity, and not simply by revamping older industries. A Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) statement added that the island’s manufacturing industries need to place a greater emphasis on “efficiency” and “effectiveness,” hinting that lower-end semiconductor companies should be relocated from the Hsinchu and Tainan Science Parks to China or other countries. This would free up much needed capacity for the manufacture of more advanced 12-inch or 18-inch wafers.

Since Ma set out his pledge to focus on these six core industries after meeting with Taiwan’s financial and economic chiefs on February 21st, the MOEA has been formulating a stimulus package with this in mind. According to the Central News Agency, the president said, “We agreed that the government should support these industries as a means of pushing Taiwan to gain an advantage in the global industrial realignment that will occur when the worldwide economic crisis comes to an end.” By instructing his administration to develop these six sectors, Ma has set forth an ambitious road map for Taiwan’s future - one that he hopes will help the island recover more quickly.

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About Me

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.