Taiwan boasts a rich and diverse arts and crafts industry that marries local resources, materials and culture to create unique products brimming with regional character. However, in recent years, the industry has been impacted by changes to the overall social and economic environment, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. These effects have manifested in several ways within the industry, including an aging of Taiwan's artisan and craftsperson population, a reliance on imported materials, and declining output. In response to these developments, the government is implementing a plan to promote Taiwan's arts and crafts industry over the medium and long term. The comprehensive plan spans the entire arts and crafts industry from production to craftsmanship cultivation and end sales, encompassing aspects such as raw materials, human resources, manufacturing research and development (R&D), and distribution. By promoting collaboration across disciplines, industries and government departments, the plan will improve the overall industry environment and foster a robust arts and crafts ecosystem.
Three major strategies
■ Production: Cultivate a sound craft manufacturing environment
Promote the regeneration of natural material stocks (such as lacquer trees) to ensure a self-sufficient and quality-assured supply of raw materials; develop methods for passing on skills to the next generation as well as new uses for raw materials; and employ technology to aid production and assist with innovation and R&D in order to improve marketability and modernize the industry.
■ Platforms: Establish an environment that nurtures artisanal talent
Build a solid foundation for the cultivation of talent with tailored training facilities. Create competition platforms and seek to form an international federation of arts and crafts competitions to gradually establish Taiwan as the home of the leading international arts and crafts competition within the Asia-Pacific region, and stimulate domestic creativity and innovation.
■ Sales: Build a robust arts and crafts economy and consumer market
Assist businesses with their brand development, domestic and international marketing, and physical and virtual distribution channels, to promote the leading role of Taiwanese arts and crafts in fashion, trends and design. Additionally, integrate the arts and crafts industry with Taiwan's tourism and hospitality sectors to establish sales locations and craft demonstration sites, to reap the benefits of economic and cultural synergies, and aid the establishment in Taiwan of benchmark-setting arts and crafts expos for the Asia-Pacific region.