Taiwan president pledges government support for aerospace and drone industries

Aerospace industry multibillion-dollar business in Taiwan: Tsai

President Tsai Ing-wen (Source: CNA)

President Tsai Ing-wen (Source: CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that her government remains committed to developing Taiwan’s national defense and aerospace industries at a pair of exhibitions on Thursday (August 15) that showcase the latest technologies of the island country’s aerospace and drone industries.

Taiwan government officials and their U.S. counterparts gathered on Thursday morning for the opening of the Taiwan International Drone Show and the 15th Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition, which is the biggest to date, according to organizers.

The aerospace industry in Taiwan has been multibillion-dollar business since 2016, demonstrating overseas firms’ high regard for the country’s technologies, remarked Tsai. She pledged to provide more government support and work with the private sector to develop the aerospace and drone industries.

James Huang (黃志芳), chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), expressed optimism that Taiwan’s aerospace industry would continue growing. Business is taking off, and domestic firms have been taking more orders from foreign companies, he added.

According to TAITRA, the total production value of aerospace-related industry reached US$4 billion in 2018, increasing by 11 percent compared to the previous year. The industry has provided 14,000 jobs for the island.

Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Brent Christensen said one focus of AIT’s work is “making sure Taiwan seeks the right capabilities to resist coercion,” which includes facilitating the process of U.S.’s arms sales to Taiwan. “Arms sales remain an important component of our security cooperation relationship with Taiwan,” he said.

Christensen also praised the Tsai administration’s commitment to increasing Taiwan’s defense budget over the past three years. He added that he anticipates these figures to “continue to grow commensurate with the threats Taiwan faces.”