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NSTC's New Southbound Policy

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, economics 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.


National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) 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, NSTC'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

The National Science and Technology Council's New Southbound Policy aims to support international research and development, promote industry-academia collaboration, and encourage talent cultivation and exchange. In 2017, in alignment with policy considerations of the central government, the NSTC launched the establishment of Overseas Science and Technology Innovation Centers (STIC). Currently, the NSTC has funded research institutions to set up 27 STICs (18 have completed their funding period) in 10 countries.

In 2018, with a focus on "addressing common issues, creating common interests, and high-level talent exchange," this policy integrated domestic research capabilities with regionally shared concerns to enhance relations between Taiwan and countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

In 2019, the NSTC emphasized a "people-oriented" approach, with a core focus on talent and a recognition of the importance of original basic scientific research to strengthen cross-border talent exchange in scientific research.

In 2020, the vision shifted towards "innovation, inclusion, and sustainability," with a reinforced effort to promote innovative industries and international exchanges. Through bilateral exchanges and long-term presence, the NSTC has aimed to understand the needs and relative advantages of partner countries and consolidate research partnerships.

By the end of 2022, "forward-looking innovation, democracy and inclusiveness, and resilience and sustainability" became the NSTC’s technology vision for 2035. This vision involves taking a forward-thinking approach to determine Taiwan's technological needs for development, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for resilient sustainable development, and adopting a democratic and inclusive perspective to fully understand the needs of people across a diverse range of age and ethnic groups.


Long-term Vision and Objective

Based on existing results, NSTC 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. NSTC will concentrate on biomedical innovations, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, while integrating industrial, academic, and government capacities. NSTC will also open dialogues on regional affairs and create mutual benefits with NSP partner countries.


Objectives and Role

The New Southbound Science & Technology Cooperation Project Office Subsidized by NSTC (Below: Project Office) was established in October, 2016. The preliminary tasks of the Project Office were to analyze the technology policies of New Southbound partner countries, assist NSTC in formulating policy and determine research issues of regional scientific importance. Subsequently, the Project Office continued to assist NSTC in tracking the effectiveness of NSP policies and engaging in bigger-picture tasks such as adjusting policy orientation to track the implementation of various initiatives, hosting seminars and other opportunities for exchange, and establishing scientific research platforms at home and abroad. The following are the NSP’s overarching objectives:  

1.  Compile and promote policy results.

2. Track the progress of NSP policies.

3. Analyze the research capabilities of NSP partner countries.

4. Perform NSTC tasks relevant to the NSP.

5. Perform administrative tasks for STICs.


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