Taiwan : New Investment Opportunities for Foreign Biotech Companies

In order to attract more foreign companies to collaborate with domestic companies and develop advanced technologies in Taiwan, the Taiwanese government has launched several programs to lure foreign investors into the country’s biotechnology sector. Additionally, the Taiwanese government also hopes to expand the sector by offering better biotechnology products and healthcare services for the rising elderly population. This will be done through the establishment of a new biotechnology model for Taiwan’s healthcare system.

To attract major investors, the Taiwanese government is offering incentives for those who invest in Taiwan’s biotechnology sector. First, investors can receive tax deductions, and possibly full tax exemptions, depending on the particular biotechnology field in which the company invests. Second, investors are also eligible to receive low interest loans and rent discount plans. Finally, the Taiwanese government provides research and development assistance to support further technology development in Taiwan.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has set up a number of biotechnology investment projects, with an annual goal investment of NT$20 billion (US$583.5 million). The Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) is responsible for several of these projects, including the BioFronts Program. This program aims to bring domestic and international biotechnology companies together to set up joint ventures in Taiwan.

Currently, the proportion of people 65 years and older in Taiwan is about 10%. However, by the year 2030, the number will expand to about 15%, and by 2050, the proportion of people over 65 years will grow to nearly 30%. To provide for Taiwan’s aging population, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) plans to create various programs in Taiwan’s healthcare department, for the specific purpose of improving the biotechnology sector. Integrating medical services, portable medical devices, and the storage and transmission of medical information are the main focuses of ITRI’s new programs. Additionally, long-distance healthcare systems, a more convenient and effective way of providing medical treatment for the elderly, will be a vital part of the new biotechnology model.