Taichung, Changhua and Nantou are expected to play a greater role in the government’s so-called “forward-looking infrastructure development plan,” which prioritizes investment in areas such as railways and “green” energy, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
The project is not only a way to boost Taiwan’s economy; the government hopes it will build a sustainable foundation for growth and help the nation’s businesses compete on an international level, Tsai said during a speech in Taichung at an event hosted by the Entrepreneur Club.
The plan is expected to improve the rail, water supply, digital and “new energy” systems in central Taiwan, where many small and medium-sized enterprises are based and there is abundant innovation and manufacturing expertise, she said.
The Cabinet on Thursday estimated that the infrastructure plan would cost a maximum of NT$1 trillion (US$32.65 billion) over eight years and create 40,000 to 50,000 jobs.
The Cabinet said it hopes a bill proposing a special budget for the plan clears the legislature during the current legislative session, so that implementation can start in August.
At a separate event at the Taichung City Government building yesterday, Tsai pledged to provide the city NT$4.2 billion to build an international exhibition center, so that “the world can see our good technologies.”
The center would serve as an important platform to promote industrial exchanges and international cooperation in central Taiwan, Tsai said, adding that it would also attract people and therefore boost the area’s hospitality business as well as the advertising and event planning sectors.
At the event, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that in recent years his administration has been promoting the development of “smart” machinery and aerospace industries in the city, adding that the industrial sector is in need of an exhibition center.
The Cabinet is reviewing a proposal put forward by his administration to expand the scope of the center, he said.