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Smart Strategy & Industrial Upgrading City Forum

Release date:2016-10-03

Smart Strategy & Industrial Upgrading City Forum - Mayor Cheng: Leverage advantages of local industries to create a Smart City

While attending the “Smart Strategy & Industrial Upgrading - Winning the Competition and Securing the Future - Taoyuan City Forum” at Taoyuan Fullon Hotel in the afternoon of September 20th 2016, Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan gave a speech on the topic of “Taoyuan City Smart Strategy & Industrial Upgrading” and highlighted the importance of Taoyuan as a key hub of Taiwan’s high tech industries and the comprehensive industrial clusters located within the City as well as the ample employment opportunities offered by Taoyuan while serving as a window of cultural diversity for the entire country. The new government’s “Asian Silicon Valley Plan” will leverage the Taoyuan’s advantages in the manufacturing sector and ICT industries, build connections to local businesses and companies around the world, and seize future initiatives in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector.

Mayor Cheng started the presentation by listing Taoyuan’s four major advantages. The first would be regional and geographical advantages that include the fact that major cities in Asia are within a 3-hours’ flight from Taoyuan as well as the City’s proximity to the political and economic centers in Taipei to the north as well as the Hsinchu high tech corridor to the south. Mayor Cheng mentioned that the “Taoyuan-Hsinchu-Miaoli” region focuses upon the Hakka settlements and the Provincial Highway 3, while “Taipei-New Taipei-Taoyuan” serves as the capital lifestyle circle. Airport Access MRT, underground railway lines, and other public infrastructure will establish connections to the capital lifestyle circle and shorten the distance between Taoyuan and Taipei.

The second would be traffic and transportation advantages. Mayor Cheng expressed that a total of 38 million travelers arrived or departed from Taoyuan International Airport in 2015, and this figure may reach 40 million in 2016. Terminal 3 of the airport is scheduled for completion for 2020, while runway 3 will be completed by 2025. Mayor Cheng also believed that construction processes should be expedited to improve the convenience of air transportation and travel.

Mayor Cheng also said that Taoyuan’s benefits from the dual port effect from having an “international airport” as well as the “Port of Taipei.” About 1,700 logistics companies have been established in Taoyuan and the number will continue to grow in the future. “Smart logistics” concepts will be incorporated in the future to transform Taoyuan into a Smart City. CommonWealth magazine has recently evaluated various cities and development indicators. Results showed that Taoyuan, as a largest consumer of electricity and fuel in Taiwan, received a low score in the “environment” section.
Mayor Cheng then listed a number of indicators that are important to Taoyuan, including 20 tourism factories, many of which have received national certification and licensing. Taoyuan also established the first Department of Youth Affairs in Taiwan, helping to handle youth entrepreneurship and international participation. The City also planned a “Free Trade Zone” within the “Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project” that aim to extend the reach of Taiwan’s logistics sector into various parts of Asia.

Mayor Cheng believe that many improvements are still required of Taoyuan’s infrastructure, including underground conversions of the railway line, the metro system, river restoration, and sewage systems. The city government also plans to construct a number of public facilities such as the Taoyuan Arts Museum, Taoyuan Main Public Library, and World Trade Center. Coverage for underground sewage systems was about 6% before the new city government assumed their offices. Shortly after the new Taoyuan city government came into power, the northern sewage systems were formally activated, the southern sewage systems were re-tendered, and construction was began for the Yangmei sewage systems. Eight sewage systems were activated during the same time and the city government will continue to work towards a total sewage system coverage of 60% within eight years.

Mayor Cheng also mentioned Taoyuan’s efforts in developing a Smart City. Since it was first released in September 1st 2015, a total of 700,000 Taoyuan Citizen Cards have been issued, giving it the fastest growing circulation of all citizen cards in Taiwan. The Taoyuan Citizen Card can be used as an employee ID, student ID, library card, paying utilities and bills, e-wallet, access card, gym card, and YouBike rentals. Taoyuan City Government is also working with telecommunication companies to convert Citizen Cards into “mobile cards” on cellphones. 10,000 such cards have been released in 2016 and it proved to be very popular with the younger demographics. Plans for the future include integrating the mobile card with mobile payment, smart shopping, and smart navigation. The upcoming Airport Access MRT will also be provided with the “Multi-Card System,” allowing commuters to use eight publicly issued cards, including the Taoyuan Citizen Card.

For e-Parking, Mayor Cheng pointed out that Taoyuan carparks have employed the ROT plan, allowing drivers to pay parking fees by e-Tag or the Citizen Card. Smart sensor systems also let drivers know where parking spaces are still available. Drivers can also enter license plate numbers into the system in order to locate their vehicle. E-Parking has also been included in the Smart City pilot program in the future.
Mayor Cheng mentioned that the “Asian Silicon Valley Plan” is centered on Taoyuan, and includes 14 sub-projects within the City that could be divided into two major sections of the “Creative Startup Ecosystem” and the “IoT sector.” The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), and Taoyuan City Government must work together at multiple levels in order to create a framework that promotes collaboration between public agencies, academia, and businesses.
Mayor Cheng expressed that Taoyuan City Government has made plans to establish a Creative Research & Development Center at Qingpu. The Center will provide businesses the ability to host international meetings and exhibitions and to conduct research and development as well as exchanges. The city government will also be working with universities to train foreign language professionals and work with various businesses to organize and carry out pilot trials and R&D projects in the IoT sector. Taoyuan City Government will also be constructing an Aerotropolis Exhibit Center in Qingpu that will be serving as the business and commuting center for the next-phase of urban development in Taoyuan.

Mayor Cheng emphasized that the “Asian Silicon Valley Plan” and “Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project” are the twin engines that power Taoyuan’s development. Taoyuan City Government must communicate extensively with companies and businesses to align everyone’s objectives and achieve success. The city government should also aim to become a “service-oriented government” to provide single-counter and comprehensive services. Central and local governments should also work closely together to commit total support towards the “Asian Silicon Valley Plan” and “Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project” during subsequent tendering as well as collaboration with businesses, public agencies, and academia.

Mayor Cheng also conversed with Director General Dr. Wu Ming-Ji of the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Chairperson Lin Chien-Yuan of the Taiwan Smart City Association. Mayor Cheng said that sustainable, clean, and aesthetic urban development is dependent on the city government’s commitment and proper management.

Since Taoyuan is Taiwan’s gateway city, Mayor Cheng believes that the Taoyuan should be more globalized. The biggest challenge to globalization would be Taiwan’s language barrier. Foreign language skills must be improved upon in order to align to the rest of the world. The goal of city government is to build local features and foster citizens’ identity and pride of Taoyuan.

Attendants to the forum included Legislator Cheng Pao-Ching, Deputy Secretary-General Chiu Chun-Ming, Director-General Chang Tun-Han of the Department of Public Information, Director-general of the Department of Public Health Tsai Tzu-Chun, Chairman Chang Chang-Tsai of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Co., Ltd., and Executive Director Hsieh Chin-Ho of the biweekly magazine Wealth Magazine.