MOEA readies NT$10 bil. industry stimulus

By Ted Chen ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Reports indicate that the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on Wednesday is poised to unveil an NT$10 billion initiative to elevate the competitiveness of Taiwan’s industries.

Apart from regularly budgeted resources, the MOEA intends to increase ongoing efforts by seeking additional funds of NT$10 billion to foster the technology sector.

According to reports by the Central News Agency, the MOEA’s ten-year plan comprises four strategic objectives organized under three core components.

Although details of the upcoming announcement have yet to emerge, the plan is aimed at promoting innovation across Taiwan’s traditional industries, bolstering the competitiveness of core industries and fostering development in emerging industry sectors by fostering creativity, elevating quality standards and establishing vital promotional platforms showcasing the best offerings of the nation.

Industries listed in the initiative include machine tool controllers, display panel and semiconductor materials, wireless broadband applications, high value-added petrochemical, metal and textile manufacturing, 4G and 5G network systems, drug discovery, 3D printing, smart-technology enabled and automated manufacturing technologies, cloud computing data center solutions, logistics, electronic commerce and the food and beverages industries.

To accelerate the effort, the MOEA will likely introduce a collection of seven encouraging terms for businesses, including a reassessed tax structure and more favorable terms for financing, venture capital investments, relaxed construction guidelines, government grants to fund companies’ transitions, land acquisition and human resources development.

MOEA to Pour NT$10 billion Over Decade Into Tech Sector Most notably, in addition to the MOEA’s decade-long plan that began this year, the ministry is vying to garner more resources for the endeavor, and allocating an additional NT$10 billion over four years beginning in 2016 for the technology sector, at a pace of NT$2.5 billion annually over the period. The grants will directly fund companies’ efforts in R&D, corporate transitioning, establishment of innovation platforms and institution consulting costs, according to reports.

Furthermore, to help companies attract and retain talent, the Executive Yuan earlier approved a measure to allow employees to defer tax payments on stock options and other profit sharing schemes for up to 5 years. In addition, to ease difficulties in securing financing, the National Development Fund (國發基金) is poised to consolidate the government’s resources in providing up to NT$150 billion worth of loans to the private sector. Loans organized by the National Development Fund may also seek to promote investments in Taiwan’s strategic manufacturing sectors by attracting loan backers from the private sector.

Government officials noted that amid heightening competition in the global theater, acquisitions of smaller companies may be the fastest route in gaining key technical knowledge and intellectual property. As a result, larger companies retain their dominant position in the field as they expand in size, a development especially pronounced in the information communication technology sector.

The MOEA noted that in addition to the technology sector, current plans also include the traditional industries, and more details will be revealed this Wednesday.

Overall, MOEA officials hope to see output from the manufacturing sector grow from 2013’s NT$13.93 trillion, to NT$19.46 trillion by 2020, with output from shipments of high-value added products leaping from NT$3.15 trillion to NT$7.21 trillion over the same period.