Chung Hsing New Village in Nantou County, once the seat of the Taiwan Provincial Government, will in 10 years be transformed into a research park expected to generate annual revenue of NT$29.5 billion (US$911 million), the park’s administration said yesterday.
At the official opening of the preparatory office for the Chung Hsing New Village High-Level Research Park, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said that as Nantou produces a lot of top-quality fruit and tea, the new park should seek to develop herbal medicines, local medical tourism and leisure industries.
Construction on the 276 hectare park will begin next year. The first phase of construction will be completed in 2014 and the full project is scheduled to be finished in 2019 at a total cost of NT$26.7 billion.
It is expected to house about 250 research and development units, including a facility for the state-owned Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan, the Institute for Information Industry, Taiwan Historica, the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (part of the Atomic Energy Council) and the National Applied Research Laboratories.
The park will bring an estimated NT$3 billion per year in consumer spending to the area and NT$5 billion in research and development (R&D) spending, the administration said.
It will create about 20,000 jobs, including 7,500 R&D personnel, it said, adding that 250 companies would have facilities at the park and accommodations would be built for 16,500 residents.
“When I was commissioner of Nantou County 28 years ago, Chung Hsing New Village was the hub of the provincial government and was crowded and bustling. After the 921 earthquake [of 1999], which devastated the county, and the closing of the provincial government, it fell into a depression and has been left idle for about 10 years,” Wu said.
“Although this revival plan is late, it will surely bring back prosperity,” he said.
The Taiwan Provincial Government, established in 1947 to take the place of the Office of Governor-General created by the Japanese government during its colonization of Taiwan, was abolished in 1997 following constitutional changes to remove administrative redundancy.
Since then, many of the buildings once used for government facilities have remained unoccupied.
Yang Wen-ke (楊文科), the director-general of the Central Taiwan Science Park, said the government planned to renovate Chung Hsing New Village in a way that blends tradition and technology. The design will preserve the local ecology and buildings of historical significance, Yang said.
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