Taiwan SMEs call for revived cross-strait talk after Tsai's re-election

Small- and medium-sized enterprises are a pillar of Taiwan’s economy: NASME head

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Taiwanese food product. (Small and Medium Enterprise Administration Facebook photo)

Taiwanese food product. (Small and Medium Enterprise Administration Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s corporate world on Monday (Jan. 13) urged the Tsai government to put aside its differences with the opposition and resume the long-halted dialogue with China to create a better business environment following Saturday's elections.

Lee Yu-chia (李育家), head of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME, 中小企業總會), said there are 147,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Taiwan. Accounting for 97.8 percent of total companies in the island country, they constitute a pillar of its economy, he emphasized.

Nevertheless, at least 70 percent of the SMEs are struggling to cope with the challenges arising in an era characterized by the Internet of Things (IoT), e-commerce, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and other new technologies that require upgrading and transformation, UDN quoted him as saying.

Lee proposed three measures that the government should adopt to help SMEs adapt in an increasingly competitive world: Tax incentives that encourage research and development, smart manufacturing, and digital transformation.

In addition, Lee called for a reduction in fees required to access the Credit Guarantee Fund, which provides multiple loan programs for SMEs. He also suggested that the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, be put under the authority of a higher administrative level so that resources can be better coordinated, reported UDN.