Industrial policy laid out for Taiwanese president's second term

National Development Council's Kung Ming-hsin hints at beefed up investment from Google, Microsoft

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Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (left) and Vice President William Lai (right) (Presidential Office photo)

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (left) and Vice President William Lai (right) (Presidential Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The new head of Taiwan’s policy-making body laid out the development blueprint for the new government that will bolster the core industries mentioned in the inaugural address of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who was sworn in on Wednesday (May 20) for her second and final term.

Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), the new minister of the National Development Council, noted that Taiwan will build on the achievements of the “five plus two innovative industries plan” that underpinned the Tsai administration’s industrial policy, reported CNA. International tech giants such as Google and Microsoft are increasing their investment in Taiwan, with announcements to be made soon, he revealed.

According to Kung, Taiwan will seize the opportunity to promote a “contactless economy,” spurred by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The commercial potential of relevant technologies is huge given its scope,which spans smart manufacturing, remote control, remote work, and many more applications, he noted.

The pandemic crisis is also likely to propel businesses to think beyond cost reduction through mass production and turn to a small-volume, large-variety production model, Kung reckoned. The approach suits Taiwan better and the island nation is well-positioned to assume a vital role in global supply chains with continued efforts to bolster key technologies and innovative strengths.

The official also emphasized the role of the government as a coordinator during a national emergency like the coronavirus, a fact evidenced by Taiwan’s ability to put together “national teams” in producing strategic items such as surgical masks and medicines.

New policies will be centered around Tsai’s pledge to develop “six strategic industries,” he concluded. These will focus on information and communications technology, semiconductors, 5G, cybersecurity, biotech, healthcare, defense capabilities, green energy, and essential goods.