President Tsai’s remarks at 2016 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference

On the morning of October 3, President Tsai Ing-wen attended the 2016 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference. In addition to explaining the government's efforts in promoting transformation, upgrade, and innovation in our industry, the president emphasized that Taiwan is a first-class innovation partner. She also expressed hope that foreign companies will step up their investment and create win-win growth for their companies and for Taiwan.

The following is the full text of the president's remarks:

Minister of Economic Affairs Chih-Kung Lee (???),

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning!

Let me start by welcoming all of you business leaders from around the world, national representatives, and other distinguished guests with an interest in Taiwan's future economic development. It is wonderful to see you all.

I am honored to attend today's Taiwan Business Alliance Conference, organized by our Ministry of Economic Affairs. Now in its 13th year, this is Taiwan's most prestigious investment promotion event.

This Business Alliance Conference has become a major annual gathering at which Taiwan can showcase the dynamism of its innovation and the business opportunities it offers to companies around the world.

This is my first time attending the conference, and it is amazing to see so many business leaders from around the world and from so many sectors. This is a truly inspiring display of confidence in Taiwan's future.

Since my new administration took office, we have been working very hard to promote transformation, upgrade, and innovation in our industry, so that we can realize our vision of sustainable economic development for Taiwan.

I trust that today's conference will give you a more in-depth understanding of the industrial policies we are putting in place, and of the new, exciting opportunities we are offering for investment in Taiwan.

I. Activating a new model for Taiwan's economic development

Over the past several decades, our highly-efficient manufacturing sector has won Taiwan a vital place in global supply chains. Now, as global conditions change rapidly, we must evolve accordingly.

Since taking office, my government has been working hard to launch a new economic development model that emphasizes the core values of innovation, employment, and equitable distribution of income.

We aim to restructure Taiwan's economy and generate renewed competitiveness, by shifting the engine of economic growth from efficiency to innovation.

At the same time, this process must give due consideration to job creation and to the equitable sharing of the benefits of growth.

We are well aware that economic transformation is a multi-faceted process, which will require that we relax outdated regulations, improve the investment environment, attract talent from overseas, and encourage innovation and new businesses.

To this end, our government agencies have been actively reviewing the relevant systems, and introducing reforms where needed, with the aim of building an even better investment environment.

As for the external environment, there is an urgent need for us to join the process of regional economic integration, so that we can strengthen Taiwan's international trade and investment links.

Besides pursuing free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries, our government is also striving to secure Taiwan's participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

We have also launched the New Southbound Policy to establish stronger links with the countries of Southeast and South Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand. These links, covering the fields of trade, investment, education, agriculture, science and technology, industry, tourism, culture and more, will bring new business opportunities.

II. Five innovative industries for the future

Our quest to transform Taiwan's economy is headlined by five innovative industries for the future: green energy, the Internet of Things, biomedicine, smart machinery, and the defense industry.

The core concept is to build an ecosystem that fosters industrial development, while at the same time integrating global resources, local capabilities, and the industries and business opportunities of the future.

Initially, we will focus on our domestic market as a testbed for this new model of development. Once the conditions are ripe, we will make system integration and related exports a major new driver of our trade growth.

Concrete implementation plans have already been formulated for the "smart machinery" and "Asia Silicon Valley" initiatives. We will develop plans for the other three innovative industries in due course and I hope as soon as possible.

Foreign investment is a vital factor in all this. For decades, foreign investment has contributed to Taiwan's industrial upgrade, human resource development, and social and cultural development.

We warmly welcome investment in the five innovative industries, and others, of course. We are excited to work with companies worldwide on technology, supply chain integration, and system development. Together we can create enormous business opportunities.

III. Taiwan as an ideal innovation partner

This year's Taiwan Business Alliance Conference reaffirms the important role that industrial transformation, upgrade and innovation plays in our economic policy.

We are confident that Taiwan can fulfill this vision and be a first-class innovation partner, because we enjoy enviable strengths in R&D, human resources, industry cluster development, and much more.

In closing, I want to say to all the company representatives and business leaders here today: Taiwan offers tremendous advantages. Make full use of them, step up your investment, and let's partner to create win-win growth for your company and for Taiwan.

Thank you all! Have a great conference!

Source: Office of the President, Republic of China (Taiwan)