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AI has become a second vital industry in Taiwan: NDC head

05/29/2024 10:07 PM
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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Taipei, May 29 (CNA) Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a second economic pillar for Taiwan, after the booming semiconductor industry, the new head of Taiwan's top national development policy planning agency told an informal meeting with media on Tuesday.

"Taiwan doesn't just have one 'huguo shenshan' (sacred mountain protecting the nation), there is now also a second," Paul Liu (劉鏡清) of the National Development Council (NDC) said.

Taiwan's powerful semiconductor industry is often referred to as a "huguo shenshan" protecting it because the country produces more than 90 percent of the world's high-end chips.

Noting that Taiwan is already a global AI hub with a significant global AI server market share, the entrepreneur-turned minister said he hopes Taiwan's position in the global AI supply chain will be cemented through advancing AI hardware development, such as key components, cooling systems, and processors.

Liu, who assumed office on May 20, said the NDC aims to help Taiwanese companies in the AI sector increase their overall global market share from just over 12 percent to 30 percent.

With semiconductors and AI as the dual cores of Taiwan's economy, Liu pledged that the NDC would work with relevant government agencies to attract investment capital and talent to help these two industries develop.

Regarding income inequality in Taiwan, Liu said that if industries successfully shift to high-value operations, high-paying jobs and higher salaries will follow.

He pointed out that while about 60 percent of the country's workforce is employed in the services industry, there are no world-renowned Taiwanese companies in the sector.

Therefore he proposed several strategies to boost the industry, including leveraging AI to enhance IT services, Liu said. He also suggested integrating services across sectors through digitization and establishing holding companies to facilitate expansion into world markets.

Turning to Taiwan's pathway to net-zero emissions in 2050, Liu said he was upbeat about the development of "turquoise hydrogen" to help lower carbon emissions, given that Academia Sinica has developed a new method of using natural gas decomposition to produce it.

Turquoise hydrogen, also known as low-carbon hydrogen, is a new method of producing hydrogen that results in significantly lower carbon emissions compared to traditional methods.

Liu explained that he will meet with experts from the institute on June 6 and that the goal is to commercialize the technology in the next three to five years.

Liu also said the government will also strive to reduce carbon emissions by promoting the Taiwan Renewable Energy Certificate (T-REC) system and green electricity trading.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Evelyn Kao)


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