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Minister encourages more start-ups (update)

Minister encourages more start-ups (update)

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch called Tuesday for the cultivation of more young entrepreneurs, saying that start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were the main drivers of job creation, inclusive growth, and innovation. SMEs account for 60 percent of the workforce in the Asia-Pacific region, Chang said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Start-up Accelerator Leadership Summit that kicked off in Taipei on Tuesday. "The energy for start-up momentum is really spiking up in this region," he said, but pointed to the need for more start-up accelerators -- platforms that support young entrepreneurs with funding, mentoring, training and events for a defined period. He said the two-day summit can serve as an ideal incubation accelerator platform for start-ups because it is aimed at building a fast track for innovative start-ups in the region and shortening their time to market and profit. According to the Global Accelerator Network, 60 percent of accelerators are located in North America, 14 percent in Asia, 13 percent in Europe, and 7 percent in Australia. "This brings up the issue that we may not have enough accelerators to keep up with the number of new innovative start-ups in Asia, especially in emerging economies," he said. As a result, Taiwan wants to bring together stakeholders in the region to set up a sustainable accelerating mechanism, the APEC Accelerator Network, Chang said. To take APEC to the next level as an incubator for high-growth start-ups, the network is hoping to mobilize a stronger foundation of regional resources that can help start-ups with business matching, cross-border incubation, mentorship, and early-stage investment, he said. Lorraine Hariton, visiting special representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, echoed Chang's view, saying that it is important to create an environment that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship in a global context.
Fostering entrepreneurship, she said, "is a key area for global competitiveness, for supporting economic development, and for enhancing bilateral or multilateral relationships." She suggested that the public and private sectors collaborate to provide innovators and young entrepreneurs with better mentorships, networking opportunities and access to capital. Given that Taiwan has a robust technology sector, the U.S. would like to work together with Taiwan collaboratively and build more linkages, Hariton said, with biotechnology, renewable energies and information and communications technology among the sectors of mutual interest. Hariton is scheduled to return to the U.S. on Wednesday. (By James Lee)


Updated : 2021-07-29 02:08 GMT+08:00