Three firms have moved back: minister

ADDRESSING SHORTAGES::Officials said land use restrictions would be overcome by expanding existing industrial parks, while talent cultivation programs are bearing fruit

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Oct 30, 2018 - Page 3

Three Taiwanese high-tech firms have moved activities to Taiwan as the US-China trade war intensifies, relocating to domestic science parks, while another 20 firms are in the process of applying, Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said yesterday, adding that there is sufficient land to accommodate the companies.

Chen and other officials yesterday reported to the Legislative Yuan’s Education and Culture Committee on their plans to smooth investment barriers for returning firms.

Many lawmakers questioned how they would address the so-called “five shortages” — scarcity of water, electricity, land, labor and talent — that industries have complained about, focusing especially on the availability of land.

The three firms — two precision machinery developers and one information technology company — have settled on three different science parks for their relocation, and the land required by the other 20 firms is also ready, Chen said, without identify the firms.

Land use regulations are not a problem because the ministry has proposed plans to expand the Hsinchu, Central Taiwan and Southern Taiwan science parks, as well as to develop a new one in Kaohsiung’s Ciaotou District (橋頭), he said, predicting demand for nearly 600 hectares of land by 2030.

The ministry has established contact channels at the three parks to help returning firms and each application would be reviewed within one month, he said.

Available plots at industrial parks managed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs amount to 415 hectares and the ministry is to make 1,470 hectares more available by 2022, Industrial Development Bureau Deputy Director Yu Chen-wei (游振偉) said.

The bureau on Sept. 26 published a list of undeveloped plots covering 214.5 hectares, of which 33.1 hectares were in the north, 142.1 hectares in the nation’s center and 39.3 hectares in the south.

Land owners have been given two more years to develop their land, but if they fail to do so even after being fined, their plots would be auctioned off, Yu said.

Asked by a lawmaker to assess the effects of China’s talent recruitment programs, Chen said that the science ministry’s talent cultivation programs had convinced some young researchers planning to leave to stay in Taiwan.

When asked to comment on technological espionage, Chen said the Executive Yuan pays close attention to talent outflows.

The science ministry would also step up supervision of research projects involving sensitive technologies and work with the Ministry of Justice to prevent technology theft, he said.