Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday instructed the Ministry of Economic Affairs to actively assist “Mittelstand companies” in the areas of technology, marketing and intellectual property rights to boost their international competitiveness, as part of the government’s efforts to transform the nation’s industrial structure and boost the economy.
Chen said the ministry, while assisting these companies, should also locate these firms’ key technologies to strengthen them.
The ministry could reference the experience of Germany’s relatively small, but highly successful firms, such as the company that produces Brita water filters, he said.
Taiwanese industry has long been locked in the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) mold, which lack critical technologies and are susceptible to changes in customer orders and international economic factors, Chen said.
The ministry’s job is to assist and encourage these firms to invest in research and development to acquire key technologies and intellectual property rights, the premier said.
The ministry should also assist the nation’s core and potentially important firms in marketing their products and brands internationally, stepping up efforts to protect their intellectual property rights and reduce their trading costs.
Executive Yuan spokesperson Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉) said that HTC Corp (宏達電) was such a typical “Mittelstand company” years ago.
Thanks to its efforts to develop and acquire advanced technologies and market its brand, HTC has become a world-famous brand that Taiwan should cherish, he said.
HTC serves as the best example of how a local company could rise to become an internationally recognized company, Hu said.
Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Francis Liang (梁國新) said that in the next three years, the ministry would identify 100 Mittelstand companies that possess certain key technologies and their own brands, and offer them marketing and intellectual property assistance.
This story has been updated since it was first published.