Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Bill backing biotech and pharmaceutical firms becomes law

STAFF WRITER

The legislature yesterday passed a statute to encourage development of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, offering incentives to boost one of the nation's most promising sectors that could churn out more than NT$1 trillion (US$30.17 billion) in output value.

Commenting on the passage of the biotech and pharmaceutical industry development statute (生技新藥產業發展條例), Council of the Economic Planning and Development Chairwoman Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) said that the statute should help the nation's biotech and pharmaceutical industry in achieving breakthroughs.

The market for biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturing is estimated to be US$800 billion worldwide, and Taiwanese companies should be able to get a bigger slice of the market, Ho said.

The statute stipulates that 35 percent of company investment in R&D and personnel training in the two sectors can be exempted from business tax over the next five years.

If the expenditure on R&D and personnel exceeds average spending in the previous two years, 50 percent of the excess amount can be exempted from business tax, the statute states.

Employees of companies who receive stock options also do not need to pay an income tax on their shareholding, the statute said.

The incentives are to expire at the end of 2021.

Government researchers who get permission from their employed institution can also transfer their knowledge to develop new drugs with private companies, it said. Researchers can also work as consultants at private companies, it added.

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