Thu, Oct 04, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Japanese investment in science parks solicited

TROUBLED PARKS:Hsinchu Science parks extensions in Miaoli and Yilan have not generated revenue, while the Science Park Operation Fund is US$3.41 billion in debt

Staff writer, with CNA

The National Science Council will send a delegation to Japan later this month as part of efforts to solicit investment in Taiwan’s science parks, National Science Council Minister Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) said yesterday.

Speaking at a meeting of the Legislature’s Education and Culture Committee, Chu said the council would aim to attract precision machinery makers to Taiwan during the visit, which follows an earlier trip to China for the same purpose.

The council serves as the supervisory agency of three major science parks — Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP, 中部科學工業) and the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP, 南部科學園區).

Chu was responding to doubts voiced by legislators about the council’s efforts to solicit investments. The lawmakers cited concerns over zero revenues created at Hsinchu Science Park’s extensions in Miaoli and Yilan, and the small number of manufacturers setting up shop at the three technology parks.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Nai-shin (蔣乃辛) also drew attention to the future development of the Advanced Research Park, a CTSP extension in Nantou, which is scheduled to be transformed into a cultural and creative park.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) suggested the advanced facility should instead form a cluster with the CTSP’s Erlin (二林) park, because this would create more benefits.

Chu said the Miaoli and Yilan extensions were still in the initial stage of development, and that manufacturers have been moving in. However, new clients do not guarantee a profit can be turned, given the current economic situation, Chu said.

Chu said the council would work to boost the precision machinery and high-end medical equipment industries to address the current economic slowdown.

According to council data as of Sept. 10, there were 478 manufacturers registered in the Hsinchu Science Park, 105 in the Central Taiwan Science Park and 157 in the Southern Taiwan Science Park.

Regarding the development of the Advanced Research Park, Chu said he would consult with Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) and seek advice from entrepreneurs, such as iD SoftCapital Inc (智融集團) chairman Stan Shih (施振榮) and Alliance Culture Foundation chairman Stanley Yen (嚴長壽).

KMT Legislator Huang Chih-hsiung (黃志雄) also urged the council to recognize that debts incurred by the government-run Science Park Operation Fund, which is used to cover development and maintenance costs of the three government-run science parks, have surpassed NT$100 billion (US$3.41 billion).

Chu said he expected the fund to balance its books by 2040 and create NT$6 billion in revenue in a few years.

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