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Taiwan Looks to Fortify Country’s Role as Global ICT Industry Leader

Recently, President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her government’s commitment to advance Taiwan’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector through expanded public-private cooperation. Tsai made the remarks at the Presidential Office while receiving a delegation of local ICT experts and business leaders.

These tech leaders were initially honoured during the IT Month exhibition held last November in Taipei City. She acknowledged that the work of several award recipients has been in keeping with the six core strategic industries initiative. Thus, their efforts to secure Taiwan’s position as an integral part of the global supply chain are sincerely appreciated, she added.

Tsai affirmed her government is sparing no effort in fortifying the country’s leading position in the global ICT industry. As evidence of such commitment, the country is set to establish a digital development ministry later this year.

The proposal for the new ministry has been approved by Taiwan’s Congress, the Legislative Yuan, last December. The new ministry will be tasked to managed key areas of ICT. These should include national policies on digital development, the planning of telecommunications, broadcasting and digital resources, and the promotion of an innovative environment for digital science and technology. Moreover, administrations for digital enterprises and for cybersecurity will be part of the new ministry.

The six core strategic industries are the Taiwan government’s trust to fortify its role as a global ICT leader. Unveiled by Tsai in her inaugural address last May 2020, these industries include information and digital technology; cybersecurity; biotech and medical technology; national defence; green and renewable energy; and strategic stockpile industries. Today, the island nation accounts for more than half of the planet’s output of chips and earned the title “the chipmaking factory of the world”.

Semiconductor chips are an indispensable part of everything from smartphones and cars to washing machines. As it caters to high-performance electronics, Taiwan’s role in the global scene is unmistakable.  At its core, the country is a key player in promoting advanced technologies of the future: cloud computing, 5G, Artificial Intelligence.

Taiwan’s effort to fortify its ICT market is timely as the global market is a very competitive market. The island started its foray into ICT in 1974 with the help of a major American electronics firm and was, at the time, a small player. By 2007, it grew considerably and was second only to Japan in production. The nation continued progressing and expanding until it reached the top. By 2020, the country’s semiconductor exports reached their pinnacle – buoyed most recently by the rising demand for electronics during the pandemic. By then, it was the unmatched leader of the global semiconductor industry.

Taiwan is definitely making waves in the region. Indeed, the country’s manufacturing might coupled with its people’s resilience has made it a hotbed for innovation. Investors, foreign and local, are seeing a fertile ground for the development of advanced technology.

A current example of this is the planned initiative of a big manufacturer to make Taiwan a launching pad for advanced digital healthcare devices for Asia, as reported on OpenGov Asia. Despite a host of challenges that are involved, given the country’s skilled workforce and level of competitiveness, it should not be a problem.

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