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Lai outlines 3 areas of focus to spur economic development, including AI

05/20/2024 05:09 PM
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President Lai Ching-te and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim at the inauguration day celebrations in Taipei Monday. CNA photo May 20, 2024
President Lai Ching-te and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim at the inauguration day celebrations in Taipei Monday. CNA photo May 20, 2024

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) laid out three areas of focus on economic development in his inaugural speech, vowing to develop industrial sectors such as semiconductors and AI to maintain Taiwan's key position in the global supply chain.

Lai said he expects Taiwan to retain its key position in the global supply chain and make the most of the opportunities brought by geopolitical challenges to become a "thriving global economic powerhouse."

Outlining the three areas of focus regarding economic development, he said the first is working toward sustainability and smart transformation.

"Transition to net-zero emissions by the year 2050" has to be realized given the globe is witnessing the mounting dangers of climate change, he said.

Taiwan, a "silicon island," must also work toward becoming an "AI Island" by adapting artificial intelligence (AI) for industry and stepping up the pace of AI innovation "to make our nation, our military, our workforce, and our economy stronger," he stressed.

"An economic model driven by innovation" should be built, he continued. "Through our two-pronged approach of promoting digital transformation and net-zero transition, we will assist small- and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) as they upgrade and transform."

"We will seek inclusive growth, so as to create a new Taiwan that is smarter and more sustainable -- a second Taiwan Miracle," he said.

"Bold investments" in quantum computing, robotics, the metaverse, precision medicine, and other advanced technologies will also be made to create more opportunities for the younger generation and to solidify Taiwan's leading place in the future global economy, Lai stressed.

The second area of focus is seeking out industrial opportunities in space and the ocean, according to the president.

"Our sights are set on making Taiwan the Asian hub of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) supply chains for global democracies, and developing the next generation of medium- and low-orbit communications satellites," the president said.

"We will also explore and develop our strengths as a maritime nation, deepen our connections with the ocean, and invest more in marine science and technology research, thereby driving the development of our maritime industries," he added.

The third area of focus is helping Taiwanese enterprises expand their presence and markets internationally.

Lai said Taiwan has officially applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and will "continue to engage actively in regional economic integration."

Bilateral investment agreements with other democracies around the world will be sought and trade partnerships deepened, he said, adding that resolving the carbon tariff issue will also be part of his government's aims.

To maintain its key position in the global supply chain and make the most of the opportunities resulting from geopolitical changes, Taiwan will develop its "Five Trusted Industry Sectors, namely semiconductors, AI, military, security and surveillance, and next-generation communications," the president said.

He assured Taiwanese businesses from all sectors that the government is committed to "providing assistance so that you can expand your global presence and international markets from a solid base here in Taiwan."

(By Alison Hsiao)

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