The Executive Yuan on Thursday approved a national development plan drafted by the National Development Council (NDC) for the years 2021 through 2024. The plan is to be implemented by various agencies under the Executive Yuan.
Premier Su Tseng-chang said Taiwan's economy had in the past been over-reliant on China, but since President Tsai Ing-wen took office, the government has forged a new model of economic development that has brought Taiwan out of economic stagnation and onto a path of steady growth. This was achieved by improving the business investment environment, promoting industrial innovation, transforming the nation's energy portfolio, and creating a digital nation. The government has also poured considerable resources into long-term care and child care policies to protect vulnerable groups and build a safe and prosperous society for all.
Outside of Taiwan, rapid changes in the global situation present challenges as well as opportunities for the nation, the premier continued. The national development plan provides a blueprint for the development of strategic industries to secure a key position for Taiwan on the global industrial chain. Early action must also be taken to ensure Taiwan's self-sufficiency in basic goods and food and energy supplies. Taiwan must also continue building a new lifestyle for the post-COVID era, and do more to stimulate the economy. Premier Su asked all agencies to implement their respective parts of the plan with full vigor.
According to the NDC, the national development plan for the next four years addresses four overarching strategies: initiating a new 2.0 model of economic development, engineering a caring society for all ages, balancing regional development to shape Taiwan into a happy home for all, and pursuing foreign relations to ensure an era of peaceful existence.
Specific measures called for by the plan include the advancement of six core strategic industries, ongoing efforts to innovate and upgrade Taiwan's industry, improvement of the local startup ecosystem, and the construction of a smart digital island nation. Developing Taiwan into an English-proficient bilingual nation by 2030, fostering high-quality talent for a new era, improving financial sector innovation, and achieving sustainable fiscal health are also called for.
Among the plan's social, cultural and infrastructure measures are the construction of a comprehensive long-term care system, improved child care and preschool services, investment in youth to raise wages among young workers, housing justice, and a drive to improve and support Taiwan's cultural industry. Further development of sports and athletics, as well as continuing enhancements to the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program are also included.
To highlight the government's administrative performance, the NDC is targeting GDP growth rates of 2.6 to 3.4 percent and unemployment rates of 3.5 to 3.8 percent on average between 2021 and 2024. These targets are based on the previous four years, which saw average economic growth of 2.6 percent per year. The NDC indicated that with ongoing efforts from all sectors of society and continued good performance over the next four years, Taiwan could see per capita GDP surpass US$30,000 before the end of President Tsai's current term.