ECCT urges government to boost “Brand Taiwan”
ECCT urges government to boost "Brand Taiwan"
The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) today released its 2021 Position Papers. Through the theme "Boosting Brand Taiwan: Enhancing Innovation in Adverse Times" the ECCT called upon the government to take advantage of the fact that Taiwan has been relatively little affected by the coronavirus pandemic, capitalise and build on Taiwan,s strengths to enhance the image and attractiveness of "Brand Taiwan" to international investors and talent.
The launch was held at an ECCT Premium Event lunch today, where Chairman Izzo officially handed over a copy of the chamber,s annual publication to the Taiwan government, represented by Dr Kung Ming-hsin, Minister of the National Development Council (NDC). This year,s publication includes separate submissions from 25 of the ECCT,s 29 industry and support committees and raises 170 issues, 104 from previous years and 66 new issues.
In his presentation to NDC Minister Kung and ECCT members at the launch, Chairman Izzo thanked the government for efforts on making progress on 28 issues from the previous year. He went on to give a summary of the Position Paper Overview and highlight some of the major issues facing ECCT members.
Summary of 2021 Position Paper Overview
Taiwan's economy has been less affected by the coronavirus pandemic than much of the world thanks to the government,s early response and competent handling of both the healthcare and economic consequences of the pandemic.
But even if Taiwan is able to maintain this sterling performance, the other challenges facing the global economy that were already disrupting business models and supply chains before the pandemic, have not diminished. Like the rest of the world, Taiwan has to navigate the challenges posed by an ageing society, US-China trade and other geopolitical tensions, the increasing digitalisation and automation of multiple industry sectors, and the associated rise of the gig economy, which continue to disrupt traditional employer/employee dynamics and erode social safety nets.
Yet, Taiwan is well-positioned to address these challenges. It has enviable advantages given its open society, a good geographical location, established infrastructure, a reliable regulatory and legal system, entrepreneurial acumen, abundant capital resources and skilled workforce, which have been used to great effect to build robust industrial eco-systems. Thanks to these advantages, coupled with financial incentives offered by the government, Taiwan has continued to attract the interest of numerous international as well as returning Taiwanese investors.
Authorities in Taiwan now have a unique opportunity to tap into the international zeitgeist during these adverse times to enhance innovation and promote Taiwan as an attractive investment destination in the high-end technology and service industries identified by the government in its 5+2 industries targeted for future development, as well as other fields.
Great progress has been made in recent years towards improving Taiwan,s image and appeal internationally but if it is to take this success to the next level, Taiwan,s image needs to be raised in prominence to the extent that it becomes akin to a globally-recognised brand that is renowned for excellence.
The Overview goes on to list actions in specific areas that the government could take to enhance the image and attractiveness of "Brand Taiwan" to international investors and talent.
Boosting Taiwan,s internationalisation: An essential component of boosting Brand Taiwan is to align the regulatory system with international standards and best practices and make the investment and living environment attractive to international investors. For example, a number of Taiwan,s CNS standards are not aligned with international standards, thereby stifling the transition to electrical engineering equipment and automotive products that are safer and of a higher quality. Taiwan also maintains unique requirements for cosmetics, safety assessors and restrictive regulations for hypermarkets, which make business difficult for companies in the cosmetics and retail industries. Besides standards and best practices, there remain instances of a lack of transparency as well as inconsistencies in the implementation of regulations and procedures, which are hampering the development of several industries.
The level and quality of English usage is an important investment consideration for multinational businesses and a crucial factor for attracting international investors and talented foreigners to relocate to live and work in Taiwan. The international business community has therefore welcomed the government,s aim to become a bilingual nation by 2030 and the blueprint towards achieving this goal. The government has taken a step in the right direction by undertaking to translate policies, legislation, regulations, rulings, or public announcements issued by the central government into English but more could be done towards achieving a greater level of bilingualism in government agencies and improving English fluency in education, government and the private sector.
The ECCT continues to support the government,s efforts to pursue international trade deals, especially an EU-Taiwan Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA). The Overview notes that taking action to internationalise Taiwan,s regulatory, business and living environment would make Taiwan a more attractive candidate for a BIA and similar trade deals.
Boosting Taiwan,s image as a haven for talent: To drive innovation will require talented individuals and dynamic companies that cultivate and support talent. Taiwan,s handling of the pandemic has helped to promote Taiwan,s image as a safe place to live and work. However, more could be done to create the ideal conditions to attract and retain talent in Taiwan. The ECCT,s Human Resources and Better Living committees have called for better incentives to attract foreign talent, a loosening of visa requirements for foreign professionals, ensuring equal treatment for foreign nationals and modernising Taiwan,s labour laws to take into account the complexities of both modern workplaces and remote working.
Boosting Taiwan,s attractiveness as a services centre: Taiwan is ideally placed to become a regional headquarters for multinational corporations in Asia and a regional hub for financial services given its geographical location, strong capital base, established financial institutions, rule-based regulatory system, and accountable government. However, further liberalisation of regulations is needed to create the ideal conditions for Taiwan to become an Asian corporate capital management and high-asset management centre.
Boosting Taiwan,s status as a healthcare innovator: Taiwan,s healthcare officials and medical personnel have performed extremely well under challenging conditions during the pandemic. But Taiwan,s national healthcare system is facing rising challenges from an ageing population and an increase in chronic diseases. To address these challenges, more spending will be needed on healthcare. Moreover, to increase the sustainability of the National Health Insurance system, co-payment reforms are needed.
Boosting Taiwan,s green economy: The government, to its credit, has fully committed to an energy transition away from fossil-fuels to renewable energy and the electrification of the transportation sector and demonstrated its support through various policy actions. But more could be done to speed up decarbonisation and work towards creating a circular economy in Taiwan.
To drive the transition to electric mobility will require a roadmap with annual targets for a nationwide electric vehicle charging system that is aligned with international standards. Subsidies for the electrification of car parking lots at strategic locations around the island should be provided and building code regulations should be revised to give apartment owners the right to install EV charging facilities. Besides fiscal incentives, the national government could introduce non-fiscal incentives that encourage the adoption and usage of EVs, such as setting aside exclusive parking spaces, offering parking discounts, free public charging and a relaxation of high occupancy requirements during peak periods for EVs.
ECCT members in the wind energy industry support the government,s aim of developing the local industry and turning Taiwan into a regional wind energy hub. However, there is still a risk of micromanaging the development process to the point that it stifles the local industry,s development. In particular, Taiwan,s local content requirements and regulatory framework are too inflexible. ECCT members have therefore urged the government to introduce a flexible and reasonable percentage-based local content regulation, in order to bring Taiwan,s local offshore wind suppliers into the global offshore wind supply chain and to drive cost reductions in the domestic supply chain. In addition, they recommend that the regulatory framework and pipeline are flexible enough to encourage the development and implementation of new technologies, such as being able to install larger turbines or floating foundations in future.
Energy storage is a crucial component in energy policy planning given the intermittent nature of renewable energy. ECCT members have therefore urged authorities to develop a policy framework for energy storage that is technology neutral and flexible enough to encourage the development and utilisation of technology breakthroughs, such as advances in battery technology and the production of hydrogen using renewable energy.
The overview concludes that the government has performed remarkably well in the face of the global pandemic and is well-positioned to come out of it stronger and more competitive. It stresses that the ECCT,s recommendations are aimed at helping Taiwan to overcome challenges, enhance innovation in this time of adversity and capitalise on the great economic opportunities available in the post-pandemic era. The ECCT therefore urges the government to continue to engage in constructive and comprehensive consultations with the chamber,s members and work together to strengthen Taiwan,s international image and reputation and, in so doing, boost Brand Taiwan.
歐洲在臺商務協會（ECCT）今天發表2021年「建議書（Position Papers）」。ECCT透過「行銷台灣：逆境中推動創新」此一主題，呼籲政府抓住台灣受新冠肺炎疫情影響相對較小的機會，利用並厚植台灣的力量，以提昇「台灣品牌（Brand Taiwan）」的形象，以及對國際投資者與人才的吸引力。