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Premier encourages industries to build on strengths, forge new era

Premier Lin Chuan today encouraged local business leaders to work together with the government to forge a new era for the industrial sector and make it a growth engine for Taiwan's economy.

Speaking at an annual celebration of the Taipei-based Chinese National Federation of Industries, the premier said past achievements in industrial development have given Taiwan a strong competitive edge internationally, and strengthening this foundation will drive industry forward while fostering long-term domestic economic growth.

The offshoring of businesses and jobs have widened the wealth gap at home and led to an increasingly unequal distribution of wealth. The government's challenges, therefore, are to maintain Taiwan's industrial strength amidst globalization, promote industrial growth, expand the workforce and maintain employment standards, Premier Lin said.

In the process of globalization, industrial production models have been transformed by
a number of technological revolutions, including the fourth industrial revolution, which seeks to connect traditional industries with the internet and smart technologies to create smart transportation systems, smart cities and the internet of things. This in turn will generate more business opportunities, create different production patterns, spur a revolutionary change in industries, and lay the foundation for Taiwan's future development, he said.

With industries facing a myriad of challenges, it is the government's responsibility to resolve basic problems such as issues involving water, electricity, land and the workforce, Premier Lin said. The administration is therefore promoting the "five plus two" innovative industries to ensure that enterprises maintain forward momentum. And to enable Taiwanese businesses to expand their markets beyond mainland China and into Southeast Asia and other countries, the government has formulated the New Southbound Policy to build diverse and stable economic ties with Southeast Asia and South Asian countries.

To make Taiwan a more attractive environment for overseas talent and investment, the administration has begun reviewing related systems and liberalized a number of laws and regulations, the premier continued. One example is the Electricity Act, which has been amended to ensure a steady power supply for Taiwan and to promote new innovative industries. The government also plans to use special legislation in the future to lift restrictions on high-level professionals working Taiwan. Problems arising from the tax system that affect business operations will also be addressed.

Finally, government and industry must communicate with each other, set common goals, work hand in hand, and deliver better economic results, he said. Only then will Taiwan be able to make progress in resolving its housing, labor, wealth distribution and social justice issues.
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