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Fri, Mar 15, 2002 - Page 18 News List

Tsung unveils tech sector plan

NEW PROJECT The government's promotion of the semi-conductor and color display sectors aim to raise annual production value to NT$2 trillion within four years

CNA , TAIPEI

Minister of Economic Affairs Christine Tsung (宗才怡) said yesterday the government will pursue a balanced development of traditional and high-tech industries and actively promote two "star" industries.

Tsung made the remarks during a meeting with legislators of an "elite alliance" (菁英聯盟), a sub-group in the legislature, over breakfast.

The government is actively developing the high-tech industry, but not at the expense of traditional industries and there will be a balance between social and economic values, Tsung said, adding that the government is studying the possibility of providing tax incentives to traditional industries.

On the formulation of a policy of industrial development, she stressed a diversification.

She said that in addition to keeping the flexibility and dynamics of Taiwan's small- and medium-sized enterprises, which formed the backbone of Taiwan's rapid economic development in the 1970s, the government will also encourage the formation of strategic alliances among enterprises.

The government will also promote a "two trillion, twin-star" (兩兆雙星) project, which means the production value of the semiconductor and color display sectors reaching NT$1 trillion (US$28.49 billion) each in about four years.

Industrial Development Bureau Director-General Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥), who accompanied Tsung to the meeting, elaborated on the project, saying that with the active assistance of the government and continued investment from the private sector, the semiconductor and color image sectors will become two of most shining "stars" in Taiwan industry.

Shih noted that the semiconductor sector, affected by the sluggish economy last year, had a production value of more than NT$500 billion last year and is expected to reach NT$700 billion this year. It is estimated that it could hit NT$1 trillion in three or four years.

Shih also said that the production value of the color image sector, which was more than NT$200 billion last year, is expected to reach NT$300 billion this year. It is estimated that it will hit NT$1 trillion in four or five years.

The economics minister also made clear on her stance on the relocation of Taiwan's eight-inch wafer foundries to China, saying that old industries should be phased out to allow room for new industries to maneuver.

Tsung noted that her ministry has twice invited leaders from industry, academia and government to meet for discussions on the impact on cross-strait relations of the relocation of eight-inch wafer fabs to the mainland. She believes that relocating the wafer fabs will not have adverse effects on Taiwan's economy and labor market.

She said that the ministry will again sponsor a meeting on the relocation policy of eight-inch wafer fabs based on the principles outlined by Premier Yu Shyi-kun, including setting a ceiling for Taiwan's two top chipmakers -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), and United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) -- to invest a combined NT$103 billion in China over the next two years.

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