Technology trade deficit holding back industry: Legislature

2017/10/09 21:54:50
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan's Budget Center has found that Taiwan has grown increasingly reliant on the U.S. for imports of technological products and know-how over the last decade, sparking concerns that the growth of the country's industries is being restrained, according to a report issued Monday.

According to the report, the Budget Center found that Taiwan's reliance on U.S. technology imports has risen from 36.26 percent in 2002 to 76.24 percent in 2014, while reliance on such imports from other countries that are not major sources of Taiwan's technical knowledge has fallen from 23.56 percent in 2002 to 8.39 percent in 2014.

This suggests an increasing reliance on one country for technical expertise, which is seriously limiting for Taiwan's industries and exacerbates the country's growing technology trade deficit.

In the area of international technology trade, Taiwan's deficit has grown from NT$36.8 billion in 2002 to NT$129.3 billion in 2014.

Deficits have grown by 250 percent in that period, which the Budget Center said means that the development of Taiwan's technology has been seriously limited because of its over-reliance on U.S. tech exports.

Another implication is that the huge sum of money dedicated to research and development each year -- the budget for 2015 was set at NT$124.8 billion (US$4.1 billion), and the country's total R&D spending has risen to 3 percent of GDP -- has not been unable to reduce the worsening technology trade deficit.

"This is an alarm for the country's sustainable development," said the report, recommending that relevant agencies make policy changes to reverse the current trend and promote industrial development.

(By Justin Su, Liao Yu-yang and Kuan-lin Liu)
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