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Premier presides over Startup Terrace grand opening

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday visited New Taipei City's Linkou District for the launch ceremony of Startup Terrace, an international startup hub at the former site of the athletes' village constructed for the Taiwan-hosted 2017 Universiade. At the ceremony, the premier announced two incentives for businesses moving into the new development: a 15 percent investment tax credit to offset business income taxes and a doubling of the National Development Fund's outlay for startups to NT$2 billion (US$65.2 million). Premier Su expressed confidence that the combination of policy tools and government resources would jumpstart Startup Terrace and contribute to further development in Linkou.

Of the original 3,500 units at the athletes' village, 2,500 were redeveloped into social housing following the conclusion of the games, said the premier. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), working with other responsible agencies, transitioned the remaining space into Startup Terrace, offering tenants one-stop service as well as rent discounts and exemptions. Now home to startups from 10 countries and over 100 domestic and international enterprises, the highly successful development has received wide praise.

The Ministry of the Interior said that Premier Su recently approved favorable tax reduction measures to encourage industrial and urban development in the Linkou area. These include a 15 percent investment tax credit for audiovisual, cultural creativity, and digital economy companies within five designated zones: the first industrial zone in Linkou Special District, an audiovisual flagship zone, an international media zone, Startup Terrace, and the Linkou MRT A7 station urban development area.

According to the National Development Council, the National Development Fund launched the Business Angel Investment Program in 2016 with a five-year budget of NT$1 billion (US$32.9 million). This year, the budget was doubled to NT$2 billion (US$65.2 million), while individual project investment amounts have been increased from NT$10 million (US$326,000) to NT$20 million (US$652,000) with cumulative investments approved for up to NT$100 million (US$3.3 million). The scope of the program has also been expanded to cover more types of applicants. To date, the fund has approved investments in 57 startups, which is expected to generate investments of over NT$2.2 billion (US$71.7 million).

The MOEA said Startup Terrace began recruiting companies last December. So far, 132 Taiwanese and international companies have moved in, including close to 100 domestic and foreign startups and 15 international accelerators. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has also joined forces with the MOEA to establish an AWS joint innovation center there.

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