TAIPEI (CNA) - Premier Lai Ching-te said Thursday the government will roll out an action plan for the development of the financial industry with the aim of bringing at least another 100 companies into the stock exchange and over-the-counter (OTC) markets in two years.
As part of the government's plan to build Taiwan into a promising and competitive market for financial investment, it will work with industry players to venture into the international market by establishing financial and banking institutions in areas where Taiwanese businesses operate, Lai said.
To that end, the government has set a target of increasing bank loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises by NT$270 billion (US$9.18 billion) and also to companies covered under the government's five-plus-two innovative industries initiative, Lai said.
The five-plus-two initiative is a comprehensive economic restructuring program to promote 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.
The action plan to encourage technology innovation includes opening two online-only banks to provide better financial services to customers and make the financial sector more competitive internationally, Lai said.
The development of innovative financial products, including long-term care insurance, is also part of the plan, he said.
According to Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji, deposits in Taiwan's banks currently total NT$40 trillion, market capitalization stands at NT$37 trillion, and the total capital of Taiwan's life insurance companies is more than NT$23 trillion.
The NT$100 trillion in total financial assets in Taiwan is about five times the country's annual gross domestic product and 50 times the government's annual budget, he said.
It is essential, therefore, that the huge financial assets are used to develop and meet the needs of various sectors and help boost economic growth, Shih said. (By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)