"Our next leader should have the vision to anchor our future on the primacy of science and technology."
Last week, together with our commercial counsellor, we met top officials of a Taiwanese company who had earlier expressed interest to invest in the Philippines. The planned investment was more than a billion US dollars, and we hastened to check if their interest had waned after the travel ban our government imposed last February 10.
That ban has since been reversed on Valentine’s Day, and both government and business officials in Taiwan appreciated the quick action.
While waiting for the arrival of the company Chairman and CEO, we sat in conference with other officials of the company, led by their Vice Chairman who was an economic minister at the turn of the century.
He told us that the secret of Taiwan’s economic advancement, despite its small size and lack of natural resources, and despite security threats, could be summarized in a short phrase: Research and Development—R & D.
Government put up research facilities for agriculture, for manufactured product development, for information technology, for medical science, for alternative energy, even robotics.
Then, it partnered with the private sector, which then manufactured the products that their technological research developed. In agriculture and aquaculture, research developed ways of cutting costs, increasing yield, and adaptation to both natural threats such as typhoons and droughts, or the challenges brought about by climate change. In information technology, they developed software that could compete with other highly developed countries.
And government assisted start-ups in practically every industry, particularly for exports and IT, providing them with business incubators, and arranged financing from government banks or even private banks where government maintained stock holdings.
Read more: Manila Standard
ABOUT PTIC TAIPEI
The Philippine Trade & Investment Center in Taipei is the Commercial Affairs Section of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office and the representative office of the Philippine Department of Trade & Industry in Taiwan