Fri, Sep 20, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Government focused on developing Kaohsiung

By Ko Yu-hao and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The central government has invested NT$7.42 billion (US$239 million) on development projects in Kaohsiung’s Asia New Bay (亞洲新灣區) area, officials said on Wednesday at the 11th annual conference on development in the area.

It has invested in 21 projects that span five industries, and plans an additional NT$711 million in investments next year, National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said.

The development projects in the area are important to transforming Kaohsiung and raising its stature, but they require cooperation between the city and central governments, Chen said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has invested a total of NT$1.24 billion in motion sensing technology, NT$160 million in smart city projects, NT$76 million in Internet of Things applications, NT$65 million in New Southbound Policy projects in Kaohsiung and has been seeking investors and people to move there, Export Processing Zone Administration Director-General Huang Wen-guu (黃文谷) said.

The Asia New Bay area was a pilot zone for motion sensing technology, for which the central government invested NT$1 billion over the course of four years through the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Project, he said.

Another NT$300 million is planned for motion sensing, along with NT$58.5 million for smart environment systems research and application, he added.

The government used the “front shop, back factory” model for the project, for which it finished moving equipment and personnel to Kaohsiung last year, he said.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has used Kaohsiung as a base of operations for New Southbound Policy projects since the policy was implemented, Lai said.

She has also promoted the Kaohsiung International Airport improvement project, an increase of flights between Kaohsiung and New Southbound Policy nations and training programs for those interested in investing in those countries, he said.

The ministry budgeted NT$25 million for large-scale professional exhibitions, NT$6 million to assist with preparations for the International Congress and Convention Association meeting to be held in November and NT$3.9 million for cultivating international business talent, he added.

The government has earmarked NT$2.52 billion for the improvement of the airport’s domestic terminal and expects the new building to have a capacity to serve up to 16.5 million travelers per year, Democratic Progressive Party legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has also used travel discounts, increased flights and other methods to increase the number of visitors from New Southbound Policy nations to Kaohsiung by 33 percent over the past year, he said.

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