Taiwan Business in Brief – October 2018

GOGORO YAMAHA TIE UP --- Gogoro co-founder and CEO Horace Luke. The electric scooter maker announced a partnership with Yamaha. Photo: CNA

AstraZeneca Plans Major Investments

Observing the 70th anniversary of its presence in Taiwan, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced plans to invest an additional NT$1 billion (over US$32 million) here in the next three years. AstraZeneca Taiwan president Simon Manners said the company will launch 10 new medicines by 2021, three of which have received priority approval from the Taiwan Food & Drug Administration. It will also triple its spending on clinical research and development in Taiwan and create more than 140 new jobs in medical affairs, clinical research, and marketing and sales, increasing the total workforce to 430 employees.

The company, which specializes in medications to treat lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, said the investment “reflects our commitment to address the unmet needs in non-communicable diseases, to enable high-value job creation, and to advance biopharmaceutical innovation in Taiwan.” The anniversary ceremony also involved the signing of a Letter of Intent with the Ministry of Science and Technology to help develop local R&D talent,

AstraZeneca’s precursor company, Imperial Chemical Industries, was one of the first foreign investors to set up operations in Taiwan. It opened the office in 1948 to launch an anti-malarial drug, contributing to Taiwan becoming the first malaria-free area in the Western Pacific in 1965.

Gogoro and Yamaha Plan Cooperation

Local electric scooter maker Gogoro and Japanese motorcycle maker Yamaha on September 11 announced plans to team up on the development of new lines of electric scooters. Gogoro is a comparatively recent entrant into the market, but has already seen considerable success since its debut in 2011. It has sold over 90,000 units, and its expansive battery-swapping network has gained worldwide attention. Yamaha, for its part, is an iconic motorcycle brand that has recently also moved into the electric bicycle sector. The cooperation would involve the manufacture in Gogoro factories of Yamaha-branded scooters destined for the local market. Those scooters would also utilize Gogoro’s network of 750 battery-swapping stations.

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