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How to build a bastion for growth and innovation

Members and friends of the local French-speaking community joined the French Association in Taiwan last night in celebrating France's National Day, also called “Bastille Day.” Local bands set the upbeat mood at National Taipei University of Technology (國立臺北科技大學) until the early hours Sunday, but those in attendance also discussed PSA Peugeot Citroen's recent announcement of further cut jobs across the country.

The French carmaker will cut an additional 8,000 positions by 2014, on top of 6,000 job reductions announced last year, following a deep slump in sales in crisis-torn Southern Europe. The announcement further raised concerns that Taiwan's economy is also at risk with its high exposure to the IT sector. But, what can Taiwan's government do to stimulate growth? How long can Taiwan industries remain competitive if the world economy remains sluggish?

In these difficult times, the government should further bolster its infrastructure, in particular its science parks, while ushering in more talents and next-generation technologies with the aim of becoming a bastion for economic growth, innovation and cluster-based industries.

Over the last 30 years, the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP, 新竹科學工業園區), Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學工業園區) and Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學工業園區) have helped make Taiwan's high-tech industry famous worldwide, and many of its products are considered the best in the world.

Science parks have already become the most important driving force in Taiwan's economy; they are irreplaceable drivers of growth. As such, they have brought together institutions of higher learning, research organizations and businesses with the purpose of fostering innovation.

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