Updated on 15 May 2013
Taiwan implemented policies in 2012 that indicate its seriousness towards elevating its bioscience industry
A small island country, Taiwan, has implemented policies that indicate its seriousness towards elevating its bioscience industry. Recently, Taiwan inaugurated biotech development consortium in Banqiao District, in northern Taiwan, strengthening its position in the biotech industry to attract about $30 billion (NT$100 billion) investments to Taiwan in the coming five years.
The strategy is to promote public private resource integration projects that foster technological exchanges among local firms. According to Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, the total output for medical devices reached $2.5 billion at the end of 2012, with the US and Japan being the biggest buyers, accounting for 42 percent of exports.
Although Taiwan has long been recognized as a leading force in the development and manufacture of cost-effective ICT and medical products, Taiwan's biotech and pharma companies are finding themselves increasingly well placed to take advantage of the global growth in drug discovery and development. However, the fact that the nation is lacking membership in a number of trade blocs, is acting as a hindrance to the unrestricted growth of Taiwan. Factors behind the country's newly found competitive advantage in pharmaceuticals, include an agreement with mainland China for mutual recognition of R&D data called the Cross-Strait Cooperation Agreement on Medicine and Public Health Affairs, which although inked during December 2010, saw implementation only by late 2011.
The signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between China and Taiwan in 2011 also helped reduce tariffs and, in some cases, eliminated them entirely on a number of products, including medical devices. Mainland China lowered import duties on 539 agricultural, mechanical, and medical products coming from Taiwan, and Taiwan reciprocated by lowering taxes on 269 items. Some orthopedic products made in Taiwan can, now be imported tax free into China.