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President Tsai vows new government will promote green energy and AI

02/27/2024 09:59 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen (center) at the Lunar New Year celebration gathering of Taiwan's industry and commerce representatives on Tuesday. CNA photo Feb. 27, 2024
President Tsai Ing-wen (center) at the Lunar New Year celebration gathering of Taiwan's industry and commerce representatives on Tuesday. CNA photo Feb. 27, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) Artificial intelligence and net-zero emissions are key elements in Taiwan's next-stage of development and will be priorities for the next administration, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said at a gathering of Taiwan's industry and commerce representatives on Tuesday.

At the Lunar New Year celebration event attended by members of the country's eight major industrial associations, which returned this year after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Tsai told industry and commerce representatives that the next government will continue the work of the present government on net-zero transformation and developing smart AI.

This is the last time Tsai will attend the gathering in her capacity as president. She will pass the baton this May to Vice President Lai Ching-teh (賴清德), who won the presidential election on Jan. 13.

"Net-zero transformation and AI are the key for Taiwan to stake out strategic positions in the global supply chain," she added.

In terms of the commercial opportunities presented by AI, the president said the government has made investments in both software and hardware technologies and enhanced the cultivation of related talent.

Highlighting the fact that green energy is crucial for the country's net-zero path, Tsai said Taiwan "has been walking on the right path as we witness a global trend in which major enterprises around the world have been joining RE100," a global initiative to call on influential businesses to commit themselves to 100-percent green energy.

"As of the end of last year, the installed capacity of Taiwan's renewable energy was 3.8 times more than that in 2016 [the Tsai administration's first year]," the president said, adding that the generation of wind and solar power alone was seven times more than in 2016.

Taking stock of Taiwan's economic performance over the past eight years, Tsai touted average growth in GDP from 2016 to 2023 of 3.17 percent, "the highest in East Asia and better than the global average."

"Taiwan's shares also soared to a record high after the Lunar New Year holiday," she added.

Tuesday's event was hosted by Taiwan's Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce and attended by other major associations including Taiwan's Chinese National Federation of Industries, the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China, the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association, and the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.

(By Alison Hsiao)

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