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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 06:07 GMT 07:07 UK
Taiwan to pump cash into research
Taiwan New Year Water Festival
The government will splash out on R&D
Taiwan's government marked the country's New Year Water Festival by revealing plans to splash out on research and development (R&D) projects, according to reports in the local media.

The injection of $1.43bn (1bn) in fresh loans to R&D spending would be a bid to double the industrial output of key sectors.

In addition, a Taiwan centre would be set up to improve design.

The industrial development loans would benefit Taiwan's hi-tech industries in particular, Commercial Times reported.

In all, 17 of Taiwan's industries stand to benefit from the loans once the Development Fund begins to pay out money in July.

Hi-tech future

The funds would aid the development of products such as computer chips and TV screens, as well as of digital content and of biotechnology.

The government is predicting that colour displays and semiconductor sales are set to soar.

Communication technologies, including broadband and wireless, would also benefit.

And there would be money available for industries producing precision instruments and for the hi-tech textile sector.

Companies working on the production of electric cars and aircraft would also be eligible for support.

Recession

Taiwan's economy fell into recession after the country's exports to the US, its main market, suffered a serious hit in the wake of the terror attacks on 11 September.

Last week, the Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian proposed entering into free trade agreements with the United States and Japan in order to counter China's growing influence in Asia.

On Monday, a proposal to cut 40,000 civil service jobs was put forward by a government body.

Premier Yu Shyi-kun will consider the proposal which would include the loss of 5,000 central government and 35,000 state enterprise jobs.

See also:

20 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Embattled Taiwan minister quits
01 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan turns away from old masters
16 Nov 01 | Business
Recession hits Taiwan
21 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
Q&A: Taiwan's relations with China
08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Taiwan
24 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Taiwan's new cabinet
02 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan joins World Trade Organisation
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