> Hong Kong
Taiwan aims to become cultural hub
(HK Edition)
Updated: 2009-05-15 07:32

TAIPEI: Taiwan's Executive Yuan has approved a plan to invest NT$27.5 billion ($800 million) in six key industries over the next four years. The objective of supporting television, film and music is to turn Taiwan into a hub of creativity and culture in the Asian Pacific Region.

Speaking in the Executive Yuan yesterday, "Premier" Liu Chao-shiuan called the plan a "peaceful revolution", saying the initiative will have a greater impact on Taiwan's future than all the policies adopted by the Ma Ying-jeou administration since it took office on May 20 last year.

The government, he said, is not restricting itself solely to coping with the urgent demands of unemployment and other factors during the economic crisis. It aims to accomplish work that will change the future of Taiwan.

The plan was submitted by the Council for Cultural Affairs. The others among the six "flagship industries" are digital content, design and industrial art. The council expects the initiative will propel cultural and creative industries toward an aggregate annual income of NT$1,000 billion and to provide 200,000 jobs.

Liu said Taiwan has acted as a cultural melting pot, for some time, embracing aboriginal cultures as well as the cultures of later immigrants to the island. Taiwan has deep Chinese roots, while at the same time it enjoys a widely diversified culture.

Liu also highlighted the digital content industry, saying it has the potential to change the publishing industry and public reading habits in future.

Digital content is also inherently linked to Taiwan's pillar information and communication technology industries. Therefore, the plan to boost cultural and creative industries is consistent with government policy to encourage emerging industries.

"I believe Taiwan industries can transform themselves and show soft power rather than playing only the manufacturing role," Liu said.

China Daily/CNA

(HK Edition 05/15/2009 page1)