Taiwan’s Premier Lin Chuan met with a group of prominent business leaders recently to talk about a government project on five innovative industries, which aim to drive the next generation of businesses in Taiwan.
Speaking at the Third Wednesday Club in Taipei, Premier Lin said Taiwan’s industries require more investment to be continually innovative, to expand and to create new opportunities. The five industries project—biomedicine, an Asian Silicon Valley, intelligent machinery, green energy technology and national defense—will grow new businesses and improve Taiwan’s overall environment by creating a cluster effect that links local and global industries.
Regarding industrial competitiveness and investment issues, Premier Lin said Taiwan’s lackluster economy has stifled investment opportunities, and with limited government budgets, the private sector must play the larger role in investments. If a company has an idea worth developing, the government will work with it and solve problems together. The government exists to sustain Taiwan’s industrial competitiveness and forge a prosperous future for the nation’s businesses.
As for social housing policies, Premier Lin indicated that the government is obligated to provide a dignified living environment and create a housing market with integrated resources. As such, the government will build social housing units for young people, especially new graduates. When these people are financially independent after three to five years, they can leave the units for others. At present, the social housing units are only for rental purposes, not for sale.
Under social housing policies, the central government sets regulations and provides land and resources, while local governments propose management projects, build the houses, and decide on the percentage of houses for young people or the disadvantaged. The premier assured that social housing policies will not affect the real estate market as there are only 200,000 social housing units, accounting for 2.5 percent of the total. Rather, the policies focus on elevating the living standards of young people who have just entered the labor market.
Regarding the Industry 4.0 project, Premier Lin said the National Development Council is currently drafting long-term plan to attract talent, create a thriving working environment, and infuse companies with more innovation, entrepreneurship and young workers. Taiwan must also cultivate a strong software industry, without which it would be difficult to build a highly intelligent Industry 4.0 infrastructure. The government is endeavoring to make Taiwan’s software industry globally competitive by providing research and development resources and removing barriers.
Speaking on the “New Southbound Policy,” Premier Lin reiterated that the government has not given up on economic ties with mainland China but is developing comprehensive connections to support Taiwan’s open economy. Aside from encouraging businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian region, the southbound policy is aligned with Taiwan’s economic and industrial strategies. Specific policies include enhancing people-to-people exchanges to attract talent from this region, or providing language training for second-generation immigrants so they can return to their origin countries for businesses and other exchanges. Some companies have even recruited foreign students for work-study programs in Taiwan, which builds the company’s reputation in the foreign country and benefits Taiwan at the same time.
As for promoting cultural creativity in industries, Premier Lin hoped all companies can infuse more local culture into their businesses. Taiwan already has the finest Chinese culture in the world and there is no need to argue over whether or not to eliminate Chinese culture from Taiwanese businesses, he said. The government encourages businesses such as agricultural processors and restaurants to add value to their offerings by taking advantage of their unique local characteristics.
The premier also responded to concerns about energy prices, saying that the government has been in discussions with Taiwan Power Co. about adjusting prices for biogas generated electricity. Taiwan’s pig farms are large enough that they can use biogas electricity. In the future, the pig farming industry will be modernized not only in feeding and sales procedures, but also in electricity generation.