Fri, Jul 25, 2003 - Page 3 News List

President lauds biotech industry

CNA , TAIPEI

The government is seeking to transform the nation into a biotech hub in the Asia-Pacific region in the hope of making Taiwan a global genetic modification center and a tropical flower kingdom, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.

Chen made the remarks while presiding over the opening ceremony of the "Bio Taiwan 2003" exhibition, which will run until Sunday at the Taipei World Trade Center.

Expressing the hope that Taiwan's industrial development will become more diversified and balanced by promoting biotechnology, Chen said the government has included the domestic industry into its key "two-trillion, two-star" program in an effort to make Taiwan into a regional biotech hub with a sound investment climate, as well as a genetic study center and a "flower kingdom."

The program's title refers to the hoped-for NT$2 trillion value for the biotechnology and nanotechnology industries.

He also voiced his satisfaction with Taiwan's progress in this field, saying that the government has helped set up 77 biotech companies and has introduced combined investment of NT$53.9 billion (US$1.56 billion) into the industry.

He added that 17 companies had opened in the biotech compound within the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park as of the end of last year, with NT$12.6 billion in total investment.

In addition, a biotechnology complex inside the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park is slated to become operational in 2006 following an injection of NT$27.3 billion, the president said.

A "national flower park" planned for central Changhua County and an "orchid biotech park" projected for southern Tainan County have seen the completion of the first phase of their construction, while blueprints for an "agricultural biotech park" in southern Pingtung County and an "ocean biotech park" in eastern Ilan County have also been completed.

At the same time, the state-run Taiwan Salt Industrial Corporation and Taiwan Sugar Corporation have also diversified into the biotech sector by exploring the domestic cosmetics market.

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