Premier Su: Promote Asia Silicon Valley to benefit businesses, citizens

  • Date: 2019-02-14
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

At the Cabinet’s weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Su Tseng-chang said that the Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan has produced promising results since its inception, including creating a comprehensive startup ecosystem and boosting the internet-of-things (IoT) industry. Taiwan’s IoT industry value over the past two years has enjoyed annual growth rates of nearly 20 percent, while several global tech heavyweights are setting up R&D centers in Taiwan. The premier applauded central and local governments for these successes.

The premier made the remarks following the National Development Council’s (NDC) briefing on the progress and achievements of the Asia Silicon Valley plan.

The “five plus two” innovative industries policy—the overarching framework for the Asia Silicon Valley plan—emphasizes three important links, the premier said. First, to create links to the future, government agencies should adopt the people’s perspective, stay abreast of industrial trends around the world, and employ innovative technologies that make life easier.

Second, to connect Taiwan to the world, the nation must build a rich pool of international talent, much in the way that America’s Silicon Valley found success. The new economic immigration bill drafted by the NDC will be central to this effort and will hopefully be passed into law quickly, the premier said. The Ministry of Education has also established quantitative goals and specific measures for cultivating high-tech talent at Taiwan’s top universities, and is working to attract the world’s brightest students to the island.

Third, bridging local industries and communities will be the focus for 2019, Premier Su said. This includes establishing an R&D center and an IoT innovation base in Taoyuan, and integrating smart city and regional revitalization policies to bring technology to smaller towns and communities.

The NDC said in its report that the Asia Silicon Valley plan will run from 2016 through 2023. To build a comprehensive startup ecosystem, it helped budding businesses raise a record NT$21.8 billion (US$707.1 million) in funding in 2018. Startup cluster facilities have also been inaugurated in Taipei and New Taipei with more than 100 domestic and foreign startups and international accelerators moving in so far.

In innovative IoT research, Microsoft has already inaugurated a research hub in Taiwan, and Google has initiated its Intelligent Taiwan program. Cisco also plans to establish an innovation and research center in Taoyuan. Thanks to the combined efforts of government and the private sector, the production value of Taiwan’s IoT industry in 2018 is estimated to have hit US$39.1 billion (NT$1.17 trillion), an increase of 19 percent over the previous year and the first time that the value has topped NT$1 trillion (US$32.4 billion).

Taiwan has been ranked as one of the world’s four “super innovators” by the World Economic Forum, said the NDC. The government will pursue further adjustment of laws and regulations to benefit innovation, attract international talent to work in Taiwan, and assist in the construction of the Asia Silicon Valley R&D center in Taoyuan. In 2019, the focus will be on building local connections, enhancing smart city applications and services, and integrating policies to bring technologies for rural revitalization in a way that improves the daily lives of the public.