Sat, Aug 11, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Taiwan-US office to boost industry collaborations

By George Liao  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang, left, shows off his HTC smartphone yesterday as he talks to the media at a business function in Taipei. Shih urged the public to use HTC smartphones to support the Taiwanese company.

Photo: Lin Yi-chang, Taipei Times

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday inaugurated a Taiwan-US industry cooperation office that aims to upgrade and transform domestic industries to help them stay competitive.

The office is to initially focus on “green” energy, biotechnology, intellectual property, and information and communications technology to stimulate cooperation between the two countries, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said at the inauguration ceremony.

He said the US has long been an important trade partner and the biggest foreign investor in Taiwan, as well as a vital source of new technologies.

American Institute in Taiwan’s economic chief, Alan Tousignant, said that the US-Taiwan partnership has become closer in a number of areas, as the world has grown more integrated and business more global.

“The visit of State Department Assistant Secretary of Economic and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez to Taiwan this week underscored the importance of our broad bilateral economic relationship,” Tousignant said at the ceremony.

The US is strong in all four focus industries and they could be good opportunities for collaborative investments in the US, he said.

To stimulate cooperation, the new office’s CEO Heng Yung-chih (恒勇智) said that in addition to the four sectors, the office would promote the exchange of innovation ideas between industrial clusters, incubation centers and national laboratories to foster emerging industries.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Shih said the government would push for the resumption of stalled trade talks with the US under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, after the passage of a law last week to relax legal restrictions on imports of beef containing ractopamine residues.

“There is no reason not to have closer cooperation with the US on the trade front after recent cooperation with Japan yielded good results,” he said.

When asked to comment on the recent market setback of HTC Corp (宏達電), Shih said HTC is a young company experiencing some difficulty, adding that the government would initiate high-level communication with the company to see if the government could provide any help.

Shih did not elaborate on the subject; instead, he urged the public to use HTC smartphones to support the Taiwanese company.

He added that he and all vice economic ministers use HTC smartphones.

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