On Jan. 3, the legislature finally passed the Statute Regarding the Disposition of Government Shareholdings in the Terrestrial Television Industry (無線電視事業公股處理條例) with an additional resolution to relocate the Chinese Television System (CTS) network to southern Taiwan.
Kuan Chung-hsiang (管中祥), an associate professor of the Department of Radio, Television and Film at Shih Hsin University, questioned the move, saying: "An industry cannot thrive without the assistance of other industries. We really wonder if the Government Information Office [GIO] has come up with a comprehensive plan to facilitate this move south. In moving CTS, do we already have the necessary facilities such as office space, studios and land at our disposal? Other than hardware required, skilled labor is also a prerequisite ... Besides, while [Minister of the GIO Pasuya] Yao [姚文智] has made the proposal, he has yet to outline how it is to be achieved."
However, we believe that Kaohsiung City is well-prepared to implement such a proposal, for the following reasons.
First, through regular meetings between seven county commissioners in southern Taiwan, Kaohsiung has for years been working toward integrating various resources in the region. Moreover, present-day planning philosophy maintains that a city's urban development must go hand-in-hand with development of the surrounding region, to make the city's presence felt in an increasingly globalized world. After five years of rigorous preparation, the assistance of other industries and a detailed plan spanning seven counties in southern Taiwan, no matter which television network moves to Kaohsiung, the local business community will be ready to make the most of the opportunities that this will provide.
In terms of the trained manpower that the relocated station will require, there are currently seven research centers and 28 departments of mass communication in 14 colleges across Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pintung that have trained numerous media industry professionals. In the past, a lot of the talented professionals produced in these colleges have had to move to Taipei to get a job. Such a situation is unreasonable and a waste of social resources.
With regard to the office space and land that the television network will require, Kaohsiung City has a lot of vacant land in addition to the land currently being released by the port of Kaohsiung. Many media proprietors have been amazed by the progress made by Kaohsiung and have expressed their willingness to set up branches there after visiting the city. Kaohsiung's multi-functional Commerce and Trade Park bordering its port is also key to the future development of the city. In addition, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has commissioned Kaohsiung to develop Pier 1 to 22 of the port as a cultural and recreational area, for the current trend for the development of coastal cities all over the globe is toward the integration of media, creative industries and tourism.
In fact, most counties in southern Taiwan are eager to attract more businesspeople to invest in the region. If CTS clearly demonstrates its willingness to move to the south, then all of the southern counties will compete to offer prime locations and the most preferential treatment to the network. If that happens, CTS will only have to concern itself with rebranding and transferring its technical know-how.