Taiwan, once known as a highly successful market built on hi-tech manufacturing, has suffered from sluggish economic growth in recent years, prompting many of its young citizens to leave for China and elsewhere in search of better career opportunities.
Recalling the economy back in the 1970s and 80s when Taiwan started making integrated circuit (IC) chips and TSMC was later founded, Dr Peng said, “They produced the products for other companies, so they had flexibility but also in terms of quality they needed it to be excellent, they needed to invest in research and development continually in order to stay on top.”
“The capabilities that we built up since the 1970s and also in the 1960s helped our talents to extend into other areas – they started to branch out, and then of course made Taiwan one of the best in producing electronic goods at a relatively cheap price.”
However, other countries including China have since been forging ahead in other areas such as software and artificial intelligence, leaving Taiwan behind without a new economic focus.
Looking to the future, Dr Peng said, “We want to focus more on knowledge economy, but also we want to focus more on service economy and in terms of creatives. I think the government needs to think about how we can attract young talent to come back.”