Transforming Taiwan: Innovative industries and new partnerships

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Transforming Taiwan: Innovative industries and new partnerships

President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration has placed high priority on transforming Taiwan’s economy.

The government aims to drive growth through five major advanced industries — green energy, smart machinery, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, defense and the development of an Asian Silicon Valley.

The latter involves the development of solutions driven by the “internet of things” and artificial intelligence, and will support technology start-ups.

Initially described as the five pillar industries, Tsai has gone on to include two more industries — high-value agriculture and the circular economy (a regenerative system based on closing and reducing energy and material loops) to create Taiwan’s pioneering 5+2 Major Innovative Industries policy.

With a wealth of experience in these areas, Japanese companies, organizations and research institutions are actively collaborating with Taiwan in these exciting, new industries.
Taiwanese companies active in these key industries are reaching out to international markets and have their sights set on the Japanese market, often working closely with their Japanese partners.

“Taiwan’s main objective is to pursue opportunities for trade expansion through multilateral, regional and bilateral channels,” said Shen Jong-chin, minister of economic affairs. “Taiwan would like to deepen reciprocal trade relations with its trading partners and create mutual benefits. Japan is a very important partner for Taiwan, as the country is Taiwan’s third-largest trading partner and strengthening bilateral, economic and trade relations with Japan is one of Taiwan’s main objectives.”

“Through our cooperative partnerships, Taiwanese and Japanese enterprises are combining their complementary advantages and tapping into larger third markets. This is creating a sustainable business-cooperation ecosystem, which is strengthening our innovation-driven sectors and our international competitiveness.”

Many Japanese legacy companies are active in Taiwan and have directly responded to Taiwan’s industrial transformation through increased collaborations and investment initiatives.

Shen Jong-chin, Minister of Economic Affairs
© Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan
Satoru Ohashi, Chairman of The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in
Taipei and Chairman of Mitsui & Co., Taiwan
© Synergy Media Specialists
Former Mitsui and Co., Ltd. first established a presence in Taiwan in 1896 and has been contributing to the Taiwanese economy for over 100 years. Former and current Mitsui and Co. Taiwan’s business interests have developed over the years from agricultural products and mining in the early 20th century to textile, chemical, iron and steel, automobile, railway and electronics today.

“Today, we manage eight different business divisions and have successfully ventured into green energy, pharmaceutical and medical service that is in line with the 5+2 innovative industries initiative, promoted by the Taiwanese government.” said Satoru Ohashi, chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Taipei, and chairman of Mitsui & Co., Taiwan.

“Japan and Taiwan face similar economic and social challenges including our aging populations. We must continue to closely collaborate to create new opportunities for the future. As chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Taipei, I recognize that by combining Taiwan and Japan’s strengths, we can create opportunities for economic development.”

Kotaro Kojima, president of Idemitsu Chemicals Taiwan Corp., shares similar views on the relationship between Taiwan and Japan. “We are proud of our collaborations with Taiwanese companies and recognize the importance of continually strengthening our business relationships in Taiwan and across the region,” said Kojima. “In many key industries and across dynamic markets, Taiwan continues to play a leading role in the global economy. Taiwanese companies are familiar with Japanese management systems and the synergies shared by Japan and Taiwan will ensure the relationship continues to flourish and create more economic opportunities.”

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