The Taiwan government is encouraging the country’s insurance companies to tap into their NT$23 trillion (US$767 billion) in insurance funds to help support national infrastructure and development projects. At the top of the list is the green energy portion of the government’s “5+2” key innovative industry program. With the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) committed…

Revitalizing the creative industries could raise Taiwan’s global profile and boost the economy.  In late 2001, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hisen’s new film Millennium Mambo opened in Paris cinemas with great fanfare. MK2, one of France’s top independent film companies, showed the film in its Paris theaters alongside big Hollywood productions such as David Lynch’s Mulholland…

Taiwan has set admirable goals for cleaning up soil and groundwater pollution. But are overly rigorous standards actually inhibiting site remediation? The CPC Corporation’s massive Kaohsiung refinery complex ceased operations in December 2015 as promised by the state-owned oil company in 1990 (when it was known as the Chinese Petroleum Corp.). Then Premier Hau Pei-tsun…

Taiwan’s government has ambitious goals for dramatically reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with global standards. Although Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and did not sign the Paris Accord, Taiwan has nevertheless developed its own plan to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint in…

LABOR LAW AMENDED During an 18-hour overnight session, the Legislative Yuan approved amendments to the highly controversial Labor Standards Act that the government promises will provide greater flexibility for both workers and employers but which labor activists argue will lead to abuse of labor rights. The amendments include changes to the overtime calculation, with overtime…

The Tsai Ing-wen administration sees substantial infrastructure investment as the key to economic revival. The Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program now being implemented focuses on eight different categories. The segment devoted to rail transportation has drawn the most attention. Low domestic investment has long plagued the Taiwan economy. The insurance industry alone has accumulated NT$25 trillion…

The government plans to spend billions to expand railways nationwide. Critics ask whether it is an optimal use of resources. The high-speed rail (HSR) has pride of place among Taiwan’s contemporary infrastructure. Modeled after Japan’s shinkansen (bullet train), the HSR is fast and efficient. Running along the island’s populous West Coast at top speeds of…