President Tsai touts impact of economic restructuring efforts

President Tsai Ing-wen said June 5 that this is the ideal time to invest in Taiwan as the economy is on an upward trend while government programs to foster industrial restructuring and economic transformation are starting to bear fruit.

Tsai made the comments during a meeting with members of the Monte Jade Science and Technology Association at the Office of the President in Taipei City. Established in 1990, the organization serves as a platform for connecting technology experts in Taiwan with overseas Chinese working in high-tech hubs in the U.S., including Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and the East Coast.

According to the president, the government’s five-plus-two innovative industries initiative is setting the stage for Taiwan’s economic revitalization by bolstering integration in key sectors. The program, which has been well received by large and small enterprises, is helping local businesses identify opportunities in emerging industries and strengthen their positions in international markets, she added.

The five-plus-two initiative is a comprehensive economic restructuring program promoting the biotech and pharmaceuticals, green energy, national defense, smart machinery and Internet of Things sectors, as well as the circular economy and a new paradigm for agricultural development.

Tsai noted that the government is also working to boost economic exchanges with major tech hubs through such measures as the Asian Silicon Valley. This key project under the five-plus-two initiative seeks to transform Taiwan into an R&D center for the Internet of Things sector as well as foster ties between local startups and venture capitalists and their counterparts in California’s Silicon Valley.

While innovative industries are a focus of economic revitalization policy, the government will not neglect thriving sectors such as semiconductors, the president said. Ministry of Finance data show that integrated circuit products accounted for 30.7 percent of Taiwan’s exports in 2016, a new high and more than double the 15.2 percent recorded in 2005.

Calling the IC sector the backbone of the nation’s economy, Tsai said that the government’s recently unveiled Forward-looking Infrastructure Program will address key needs for the future development of this industry such as ensuring stable power and water supplies and promoting top-level talent cultivation.

Unveiled by the Cabinet in March, the FIP is aimed at stimulating growth and driving Taiwan’s industrial transformation over the next 30 years. Budgeted at NT$880 billion (US$29.23 billion), it spans five main areas: digital infrastructure, railways, renewable energy, urban-rural development and water resources, and is forecast to add NT$975.9 billion to the country’s real gross domestic product over eight years while creating up to 50,000 new jobs.

According to the president, the five-plus-two initiative and FIP will be implemented alongside regulatory reforms aimed at enhancing the nation’s investment environment, including measures to promote the cultivation of leading foreign talents and expedite and upgrade the environmental impact assessment process. Overall, these efforts will strengthen Taiwan’s economic performance and shape an innovation-based model for growth, she said.

Source: Taiwan Today