Taiwan can draw lessons from innovative Finland: Taipei Mayor

Deficient in natural resources, Taiwan can learn from Finland’s innovation initiative

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Ko Wen-je (center) on European visit (Facebook photo)

Ko Wen-je (center) on European visit (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The experience of Finland and the Baltic states can serve as a reference for Taiwan as it charts its own path to stay relevant on the international stage, said Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Monday (Jan. 20) as he wrapped up his European trip with stops in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Finland.

One of the purposes of the visit was to gain insight into how Finland and the Baltic countries had managed to retain their independence under the threat of the regional power, the Soviet Union, said Ko.

Ko believes that innovation is the only way out for Finland, a country with scarce natural resources and a poor demographic dividend due to a low birth rate. The operations of the state-owned VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, for example, could be a source of inspiration for Taiwan, as it pioneers in technological innovation and offers solutions to social problems, he said.

The mayor also expressed interest in how the Finnish multinational telecommunications and IT company Nokia has reinvented itself to secure a footing in the era of 5G technology following its failure to catch up with the wave of smartphone development.

Ko further stated that he was keen to learn about how the advancement of 5G technology can be promoted along with the optical fiber infrastructure. The Northern European nation could be an ideal experimental field for Taipei’s 5G applications, Ko reckoned.