By Chen Cheng-hui / Staff reporter
The Executive Yuan yesterday announced a five-year, NT$11 billion (US$388.6 million) investment plan for the development of a 5G artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) innovation hub in Kaohsiung’s Asia New Bay Area (亞洲新灣區).
The project, which is to begin this year, would involve the Kaohsiung City Government, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the National Development Council, the National Communications Commission and the Ministry of Culture.
It aims to build Taiwan’s most comprehensive 5G and AIoT testing and demonstration facilities in the port city, the economics ministry said in a statement.
Photo: Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times
The government seeks to attract 50 local and foreign companies, as well as 120 start-ups, to join the innovation hub over five years, generating NT$30 billion of new investment and creating NT$120 billion in production value, the statement said.
The Executive Yuan made the announcement after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was briefed by the economics ministry and the city government about the investment plan earlier yesterday at a meeting at the Kaohsiung Public Library.
Tsai said the development of Asia New Bay Area plays an important role in the government’s Great South, Great Development policy, which aims to balance the development gap between southern and northern Taiwan.
It also represents a close collaboration between the central and local governments, she said.
Kaohsiung is expected to become a “technology smart city” and demonstrates the realization of the policy, Tsai said.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) thanked the central government for its support and said the city government would offer incentives for participating companies.
These would include zero-interest corporate loans for investments exceeding NT$400 million and a 25 percent wage subsidy for workers, Chen said.
The city government would offer a preferential program for industrial land, he said.
Companies setting up shop in the innovation zone would stay rent-free for the first two years, would be given a 40 percent discount on their rent in the third and fourth years, and a 20 percent discount in the fifth and sixth years, Chen said.
The city government would also waive housing tax of NT$2 million for participating companies for five years, he added.
The economics ministry said the project comes at a time when overseas Taiwanese businesses and international firms are seeking business opportunities in the nation amid China-US trade tensions and industrial supply chain realignments.
The government aims to accelerate high-tech development in the Asia Bay Area through 5G, AIoT, information technology and digital industries, and enhance Kaohsiung’s global status, it said.
The government plans to expand the Kaohsiung Software Park, launch global accelerator and talent cultivation programs, complete 5G network and smart city infrastructure, and promote conferences and exhibitions, as well as grow the logistics industry, in the city, the ministry said.
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