Sat, Mar 08, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Foreigners key to growth, Internet association says

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan should look to Singapore’s example and lower barriers to hiring and reduce income taxes to attract skilled foreign workers, the Taiwan Internet and E-commerce Association (TIEA) said yesterday.

Opening up Taiwan’s labor market to foreign workers would create more job opportunities as a result of competition, the association said.

“Taiwan’s investment environment should be further improved, with a focus on the information and communication technology [ICT] industry, or simply the Internet industry, because that is the next growth driver of the country’s economy,” TIEA chairman Jan Hung-tze (詹宏志) told a press conference.

The nation’s economy could see high growth over the next 10 years if the Internet industry prospers with the government’s support, said Chan, who also serves as chairman of PChome Online Inc (網絡家庭), Taiwan’s largest e-commerce company.

TIEA vice chairman Frank Chen (陳建銘) also called on the government to play a role in attracting more local and foreign Internet companies to launch initial public offerings in Taiwan.

Chen said Taiwan has become a hub with the greatest number of publicly traded high-tech companies in the world.

However, as the high-tech industry is transforming to become more software-driven, startups that plan to develop applications on the Internet often hit a wall while trying to raise funds in Taiwan, Chen said.

In his speech at the association’s annual meeting in Taipei, Chen suggested that the government use the Cabinet-run National Development Fund or encourage state-run enterprises to invest in Internet startups.

Citing research conducted by the government-funded Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute, Chen said Taiwan’s e-commerce market is estimated to grow 31.57 percent to NT$1 trillion (US$33.1 billion) next year from NT$760 billion last year.

The Internet industry, including the e-commerce market, is forecast to benefit the logistics, retail and delivery sectors, he said.

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