Digital economy key to Taiwan’s rise

Premier Lai Ching-te on Thursday said that building Taiwan into a smart digital nation is one of the Executive Yuan’s five major policy objectives, with smart technology serving as the foundation to expand the digital economy and drive industrial innovation and high-value-added production. 

The premier’s remarks came following a presentation by the Executive Yuan’s Office of Science and Technology (OST) on the progress and accomplishments of Taiwan’s Digital Nation and Innovative Economic Development Program (2017-2025), also known as “DIGI+.” 

The OST indicated that the DIGI+ program was initiated by the Executive Yuan in 2016 to hasten Taiwan’s evolution into a smart digital nation and encourage industrial transformation and the development of value-added applications. Efforts under DIGI+ on the legislative front secured the passage of the Financial Technology Development and Innovative Experimentation Act, the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, and the Sports Industry Development Act. The three new laws have helped promote financial technology innovation, fill gaps in talent and technology, and create a friendly environment for the growth of e-sports. 

As for DIGI+ policy and planning, the Executive Yuan has approved such forward-looking programs as the AI Taiwan Action Plan, an action plan for improving the environment for investing in startups, and an action plan for the development of the cybersecurity industry, all of which will enhance the development potential of Taiwan’s “five plus two” innovative industries. 

Digital capabilities and enhancements have also been incorporated into many public services under the DIGI+ initiative, said the OST. These include free Wi-Fi access in public areas of railway and metro facilities, the establishment of an emergency notification system, and a dedicated portal for real-time information on typhoons, school and business closures, blackouts, water outages and similar disruptions. 

Also included is the ongoing construction of network-connected air quality monitoring infrastructure that will enable precision air quality measurements at the township level throughout Taiwan. As of the end of 2017, the system had 500 monitoring stations deployed nationwide. Finally, DIGI+ has helped extend gigabit-per-second broadband to over 40 percent of Taiwan, while 100-megabit-per-second connectivity at rural health stations and mobile health units has improved the broadband environment in rural and isolated areas.

Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan