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Taiwan ramps up economic growth programs

Premier Sean Chen today directed the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to redouble efforts to bolster Taiwan's economy as the Eurozone debt crisis continues to loom over the global economy and slow growth.

During a visit to the MOEA, the premier said the Executive Yuan already launched a series of programs last December aimed at helping Taiwan adapt to changes in the international economic situation. Minister without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming is also working with government agencies to draw up mid- and long-term strategies for sustained development.

To help industries grow, Premier Chen said the MOEA will soon kick off an action plan to transform the structures of several industries—specifically, to introduce more services within the manufacturing sector, develop high-tech and internationalized services, and accentuate the strengths and uniqueness of Taiwan's traditional industries. This action plan will serve as a model for other ministries and agencies to follow when assisting businesses in these industries. The MOEA indicated initial areas of focus will cover intelligent living, machine tools, logistics, information services and innovative textiles.

The MOEA is also planning a program to enhance businesses' grasp of basic industrial technologies in their fields. Ten fields have so far been selected, including chemical materials, machinery, and electronics and electrical appliances. The premier said this program, similar to the one for building "backbone enterprises," is essential for laying a firm foundation for industries. He asked MOEA Minister Shih Yen-shiang to promote horizontal integration of these initiatives and to encourage cross-ministry discussion by convening meetings on industrial infrastructure and technology development.

Other MOEA programs in the pipelines include: helping small and medium-sized enterprises to strengthen their innovation skills, enhance R&D capabilities and find investment capital; providing start-up consultation and financing to women, micro-businesses and low-to-middle income earners; fostering business development in central and southern Taiwan; and supporting young entrepreneurs in starting their own companies.

The MOEA's work is broad and varied, Premier Chen remarked, and its importance cannot be overstated when its operations are related to 3.5 of the four components of the national GDP (referring to private consumption, gross investment, government spending and trade). As people across the nation pin their hopes on the economy, it is up to the MOEA to complete many critical tasks. Chen thanked the staff for their hard work and continued dedication to improving Taiwan's economy.

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