Sunday, October 5, 2008

Taiwan Looks to Innovation and Investment to Weather Financial Storm

"Taiwan is back in the game," said the recently inaugurated President Ma Ying-jeou, speaking at the 2008 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference in Taipei. After decades of strong economic growth, especially in the electronics sector, Taiwan was hit hard by the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. This was followed by years of confrontational politics with mainland China under the previous government, said President Ma, which led to lost opportunities while others in the region prospered. He hopes to reverse this trend by opening the doors to Cross-Straights talks and supporting foreign investment in Taiwan. Two companies recognized for expanding their investments in Taiwan include Corning Display Glass (LCD panels) and Texas Instruments (network semiconductors).

Taiwan's exporters will be hit by the developing global financial crisis, said Taiwanese Vice President Vincent Siew. The mission will be to turn these challenges into new opportunities. One way the government hopes to counter the effects of storm will be with its "iTaiwan" national infrastructure projects. Siew believes these investments will help stabilize the economy while positioning the island as a springboard to growth once the crisis abates.