Tue, Oct 28, 2003 - Page 4 News List

High-tech progress vital: Chen

SILICON ISLAND Taiwan's science parks and incubating centers play an important role in boosting the industrial sector as well as the local economy, the president said

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

Existing science parks and incubating centers, which nurture startup companies by providing a wide range of business development services, will soon transform Taiwan into a green silicon island in which environmental protection and high-tech development are intertwined, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.

Delivering the opening speech at the 7th annual conference of the Asian Science Park Association, which was held in Hsinchu yesterday, Chen said that promoting high-tech business in order to upgrade the industrial sector and boost the local economy remains one of the nation's most important economic policies.

"Learning from experience in advanced countries, we are fully aware that innovative R&D in the high-tech sector remains one of the powerful driving forces behind industrial development," Chen said.

Citing research by economists, he said the substantial economic growth after World War II in countries such as Japan and the US could be attributed mainly to high-tech progress, rather than capital accumulation.

In an era characterized by knowledge-based economies and globalization, science parks and incubating centers play an important role in the establishment of creative high-tech firms, Chen said.

"Strengthening relations with other Asian countries is important for Taiwan, which plays a pivotal role between northeast and southeast Asia. Taiwan is also one of the top four exporters of high-tech products in the world," Chen said.

Chen urged participants to make use of the advantages offered by Taiwan, which has been described as one of the world's leading R&D centers by more than 15 international companies, including IBM, Intel and Hewlett-Packard.

Taiwan should become more competitive after this year's Taiwan Business Alliance Conference, which was successfully concluded last week, Chen said.

The Asian Science Park Association's first conference, which was held by Japan in 1997, was attended by representatives from only four countries: the host country, Taiwan, Korea and China.

This year, more than 350 representatives from the high-tech sector in 11 countries are attending the conference, which is hosted by Taiwan and concludes tomorrow.

The participants will be given access to up-to-date information about Taiwan's three science parks and the incubating centers at some universities. This year's conference was subtitled "Enhancing technological competency through collaboration."

According to the organizer, the Industrial Technology Research Institute, the mission of the conference is to promote communication between science parks, incubators, universities and governments.

Johnsee Lee (李鍾熙), the institute's president, said that the successful experiences of Taiwan's science parks and incubating centers set an example for other countries' newly-established R&D centers.

Lee said that the institutes's incubating center has helped 167 local firms to mature, further promoting investments of more than NT$30 billion.

"Because Taiwan is hosting the international conference, it offers foreigners the opportunity to learn how we operate science parks and incubating centers, as well as building bridges between local firms and the outside world," Lee said.

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