The guideline for the New Southbound Policy (NSP) was set out at a meeting on international economic and trade strategy hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen on August 16, 2016. The NSP is aimed at strengthening Taiwan's partnership with 18 neighboring countries, including ten ASEAN countries, six South Asian countries, Australia, and New Zealand. Taiwan intends to foster links with the NSP-target countries in technology, economic and trade, and culture, as well as to share resources, talent, and markets. The goal is to create models of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has been enhancing the effectiveness of NSP, exploring potential NSP markets, developing cutting-edge technologies, and cultivating top talent. Such endeavors resonate with the spirit of "achieving growth through stability, and seizing opportunity amid changes" proposed in President Tsai's 2020 inaugural address.
To create an "innovative, inclusive, and sustainable" society, MOST's main missions are to seek and deepen international S&T cooperation, focus on frontier biomedical sciences, semiconductors, and ICT industries, as well as to promote the development of humanities and social sciences.
Strategies in Progress
MOST's NSP includes subsidizing international cooperative research, promoting industry-academia collaboration, and encouraging talent exchange and cultivation. Since 2017, twelve overseas Science and Technology Innovation Centers have been established under government subsidy across ten countries. In 2018, with "solving common problems, creating mutual benefit, and encouraging top talent exchange" as the main axis, MOST aims to strengthen substantial relations between Taiwan and South and Southeast countries by consolidating scientific research capacities of Taiwan and tackling common challenges of the regions. In 2019, with a "people-oriented" focus, MOST highlighted basic science research and facilitated international flow of research professionals. In 2020, with a vision for "innovation, inclusiveness, and sustainability," MOST intensified the promotion of industry innovation and global communication. The Ministry has made an effort to understand the need of the target countries and Taiwan's relative advantage through bilateral exchange and extended on-site research, as a means to consolidate NSP partnership in scientific research.
Long-term Vision and Objective
Based on existing results, MOST intends to align with the national development plan in promoting six core strategic industries, especially biotech and medical technology industries, information and digital industries, national defense and strategic industries, and green energy and renewable energy industries. MOST will concentrate on biomedical innovations, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, while integrating industrial, academic, and government capacities. MOST will also open dialogues on regional affairs and create mutual benefit with NSP partner countries.