Taiwan targets service industries for promotion

MOEA Minister Shih Yen-shiang explains the role of service industries in overhauling Taiwan’s economy Aug. 7 in Taipei City.
Taiwan’s service industries are set for a major boost under a 13-year project aimed at transforming the sector into a key driver for the local economy, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan Aug. 7.

“The government has not done enough to develop service industries, especially in light of the funding dedicated to manufacturing R&D, marketing promotion and talent cultivation,” MOEA Minister Shih Yen-shiang said.

“Given the expanding role of service industries in Taiwan’s future development, we believe the plan will be instrumental in delivering balanced economic growth.”

Shih said the MOEA is targeting industries characterized by high output value, strong job creation capability and lucrative export potential.

Based on these criteria, the ministry has selected nine industries for strategic promotion, including Chinese-language e-commerce, design services, digital content, health care, information services, international logistics and meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.

Approved by Taiwan Cabinet in June, the project will attract a minimum NT$10 billion (US$336.7 billion) from the National Development Fund. Taiwan’s venture capital firms are poised to contribute a further NT$3 billion.

Later this month, the MOEA is set to begin working with the nine service sector promotion offices under its Industrial Development Bureau to identify suitable investment targets. The ministry will select 10 to 15 firms to take part in the project in November.

According to the MOEA, around 650 local startups are set to benefit from the project with 22,000 jobs created by 2025.

The plan is part of a central government drive to keep Taiwan’s economy ticking along amid challenging conditions at home and abroad. As part of this effort, Minister without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming said the Cabinet is considering easing regulations on inbound investment from mainland Chinese firms.

“We will soon begin reviewing current laws governing foreign direct investment,” Kuan said. “This approach is expected to attract more investors to Taiwan, especially in the areas of public construction, real estate, services and telecommunications.”

Meg Chang