Mon, Aug 08, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Biotech investment attains record high, Ernst & Young says

Staff Writer, with CNA

Investment in Taiwan’s biotech sector hit a record high last year, reflecting a booming market, Ernst & Young said in a report on global biotech development released on Friday.

In the report, the multinational accounting firm said investment in Taiwan’s biotech sector last year rose 14.6 percent from a year earlier to NT$30.1 billion (US$1.04 billion) and further growth in the sector could be expected.

PROGRESS

Kim Chang (張嵐菁), chief operating officer of the assurance division and head of the life sciences division at Ernst & Young Taiwan, said the local sector, backed by a government campaign to promote biotechnology development, is making significant progress.

As an example, Chang cited an action plan initiated by the Cabinet in 2009 as being particularly helpful in developing an environment in which the local biotech sector could grow through a sizable infusion of venture capital.

According to a document released by the Cabinet, NT$10 billion in venture capital is expected to be invested in the biotechnology sector and should generate NT$1 trillion in output value over five years.

INTEGRATION

Chang said that along with the venture capital, the action plan’s incubation center is expected to help integrate government and academic resources devoted to the field.

According to the report, Taiwan has gained the upper hand in biotechnology development because of its long-term commercial ties with the US and Japan, which have advanced biotechnology knowledge.

CHINA TIES

In addition, Taiwan has close business ties with China, paving the way for the country to enter the huge Chinese market, the report said.

In China’s growing biotechnology sector, a total of 33 companies launched initial public offerings to raise US$5.9 billion last year, up more than 47 percent from a year earlier, the report said.

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