Executives from consultancy firms and industry experts yesterday called for more deregulation and better government coordination to help boost the biotechnology sector.
Audrey Tseng (曾惠瑾), deputy chairwoman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Taiwan, said that the government should lift restrictions on angel investors and facilitate tax exemptions for individual investors in biotechnology start-ups to match standards in Singapore.
Tseng told a forum organized by the government-funded Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry (生技醫療產業策進會) that the proposed changes are not aimed at lowering tax obligations, but are to address investors’ concerns about prolonging the time in which tax credits can be claimed.
A precedent for tax credits for individual investors has been set in Singapore, she said, adding that the city-state is Taiwan’s main competitor in the region.
Tseng said that regulations should be eased so that funds can be reinvested in other ventures in the sector following an initial investment in a Taiwanese biotech firm by a foreign investor.
“Taiwan does not have a comprehensive platform for foreign investors to gain FINI [foreign institutional investor] or QIB [qualified institutional buyer] designation from the government,” Tseng said.
She also urged the government to improve English-language information and resources to attract more foreign capital.
Overall communication and promotion could be achieved by holding more roadshows abroad for Taiwan’s “blue chip” biotechnology companies, Tseng said.
Taipei Veterans General Hospital physician Chen Tsen-wen (陳振文) said that the government should take the lead to help companies meet compliance standards in overseas markets as they expand, especially within the scope of the “new southbound policy.”
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