Ma praises Google’s investment in Taiwan

By Grace Soong, The China Post

The China Post–President Ma Ying-jeou expressed appreciation for Google Inc.’s decision to build its Asia-Pacific data center in Changhua, which helped to fulfill his presidential campaign promise, yesterday morning, during a meeting with Google Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt.

Google’s decision to establish it’s 15-acre Asia data center in Changhua County’s Xianxi Township (線西鄉), investing over US$100 million (NT$3.04 billion) on the project, has greatly encouraged the Taiwanese markets and citizens, Ma said yesterday.

The fact that Google has chosen Taiwan “was equivalent to voting affirmative” on his policy to build Taiwan into a global innovation center, the Asia-Pacific economic and commercial hub, the Taiwanese businessmen’s headquarters, and international businesses’ regional headquarters, which he proposed during his presidential campaign four years ago, Ma pointed out.

In addition to building the data center, the president stated his hope that the U.S.-based search giant could develop closer ties with Taiwan by partnering with the nation’s information technology (IT) industry to expand the width and depth of collaboration on software, service systems, and green products, while jointly training for more creativity in developing the Android and chrome systems.

In line with Taiwan’s goal of becoming a data hub in the Asia-Pacific region, the government will also integrate domestic and overseas resources to improve the country’s business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) services, according to the president.

Also pointing out that Taiwan has reached an agreement with China to jointly build a direct submarine cable linking Taiwan-controlled Kinmen Island and nearby Xiamen City in China’s Fujian Province, Ma proposed that the establishment of the cable would make Taiwan the communicational hub between mainland China and the globe, the pathway through which all nations — including the United States and countries in Southeast Asia — have to take to enter the Chinese market.

The Taiwanese government greatly emphasizes the nation’s IT development, especially the realm of research innovation, Ma said. According to the evaluation on the competitiveness in the IT industry released by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Taiwan ranked 13 overall, and 3rd for research and development, second only to Singapore in Asia.

Ma pledged that his government will continue to enhance its protection of intellectual property rights to create a favorable environment for the IT industry and will also continue to encourage international companies to set up data centers in Taiwan.