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…

Despite Taiwan’s Austronesian past and unique food culture, it is surprising that visitors to Taipei cannot sample the country’s earliest cuisine in style. Taiwan’s Indigenous people have a long and proud tradition of essentially slow-cooked food that emphasizes seasonal and organic ingredients – quite in line with the foodie movement currently in vogue. But you…

Fully automatic buses are already being tested in Taipei for late-night service. Backed by its solid base in ICT (information-communications technology), Taiwan is gearing up for the coming trend of driverless cars, which is expected to revolutionize transportation worldwide within 10 years. Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motor Co. has been among the leaders domestically in this…

The major new development is creation of Taiwania Capital Management, a government-backed venture-capital operation. Among the seven industries targeted in the government’s “5+2 Industrial Innovation Program,” the one starting with the strongest foundation is smart machinery. Overall machinery production value this year could break the NT$1 trillion (about US$33 billion) mark for the first time,…

Rising worldwide demand for Taiwan’s export products is injecting more vitality into the economy. Most economists are currently forecasting GDP growth for this year and 2018 in the range of 2-2.5% – not the fast pace that Taiwan was long accustomed to, but still an improvement over recent economic performance. Given Taiwanese companies’ prominent role…

The government is moving cautiously – some developers think too cautiously – in promoting what could become a major new industrial sector. Offshore wind-power development is a huge undertaking. Enormous turbines fixed on gigantic masts rise 150 meters above the sea, with foundations reaching 50 meters into the waters below. The generating capacity of each…