A Before and After Impact Comparison of Applying Statute for Industrial Innovation Article 23-1 Draft on Venture Capital Limited Partnerships

A Before and After Impact Comparison of Applying Statute for Industrial Innovation Article 23-1 Draft on Venture Capital Limited Partnerships

I. Background

  Because the business models adopted by Industries, such as venture capital, film, stage performance and others, are intended to be temporary entities, and the existing business laws are not applicable for such industries,[1] the Legislature Yuan passed the “Limited Partnership Act” in June 2015,[2] for the purpose of encouraging capital injection into these industries. However, since the Act was passed, there are currently only nine limited partnerships listed on the Ministry of Economic Affairs' limited partnership information website. Among them, “Da-Zuo Limited Partnership (Germany) Taiwan Branch” and “Stober Antriebstechnik Limited Partnership (Germany) Taiwan Branch”, are branch companies established by foreign businesses, the remaining seven companies are audio video production and information service businesses. It is a pity that no venture capital company is adopting this format.[3]

  In fact, several foreign countries have set up supporting measures for their taxation systems targeting those business structures, such as limited partnerships. For example, the pass-through taxation method (or referred to as single entity taxation) is adopted by the United States, while Transparenzprinzip is used by Germany. These two taxation methods may have different names, but their core ideas are to pass the profits of a limited partnership to the earnings of partners.[4] However, following the adoption of the Limited Partnership Act in Taiwan, the Ministry of Finance issued an interpretation letter stating that because the current legal system confers an independent legal entity status to the business structure of a limited partnership, it should be treated as a profit-seeking business and taxed with Profit-Seeking Enterprise Income Tax.[5] Therefore, to actualize the legislative objective of encouraging innovative businesses organized under tenets of the Limited Partnership Act, the Executive Yuan presented a draft amendment for Article 23-1 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation (hereinafter referred to as the Draft), introducing the "Pass Through Taxation Principle" as adopted by several foreign countries. That is, a Limited Partnership will not be levied with the Profit-Seeking Enterprise Income Tax, but each partner will file income tax reports based on after-profit-gains from the partnership that are passed through to each partner. It is expected that the venture capital industry will now be encouraged to adopt the limited partnership structure, and thus increase investment capital in new ventures.

II. The Pass Through Taxation Method is Applicable to Newly Established Venture Capital Limited Partnerships

1. The Requirements and Effects

  (1) The Requirements

  According to the provisions of Article 23-1 Paragraph 3 of the Draft, to be eligible for Pass Through Taxation, newly established venture capital limited partnerships must meet the following requirements: 

1. The venture capital limited partnerships are established between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2019.

2. Investment threshold of the total agreed capital contribution, total received capital contribution, and accumulated total capital contribution, within five years of the establishment of venture capital limited partnerships:

 

Total Agreed Capital Contribution in the Limited Partnership Agreement

Total Received Capital Contribution

Accumulated Investment Amount for Start-up Companies

The Year of Establishment

3 hundred million

The Second Year

The Third Year

1 hundred million

The Fourth Year

2 hundred million

Reaching 30 percent of the total received capital contribution of the year or 3 hundred million NT dollars.

The Fifth Year

3 hundred million

3. The total amount, that an overseas company applies in capital and investments in actual business operations in Taiwan, reaches 50% of its total received capital contribution of that year.

4. In compliance with government policies.

5. Reviewed and approved by the central competent authority each year.

  (2) The Effects

  The effects of applying the provisions of Article 23-1 Paragraph 3 of the Draft are as follows:

1. Venture capital limited partnerships are exempt from the Profit-Seeking Enterprise Income Tax.

2. Taxation method for partners in a limited partnership after obtaining profit gains:
(1) Pursuant to the Income Tax Act, Individual partners and for-profit business partners are taxed on their proportionally-calculated, distributed earnings.
(2) Individual partners and foreign for-profit business partners are exempt from income tax on the stock earnings distributed by a limited partnership.

2. Benefit Analysis Before and After Applying Pass Through Taxation Method

  A domestic individual A, a domestic profit-making business B, and a foreign profit-making business C jointly form a venture capital limited partnership, One. The earnings distribution of the company One is 10%, 80% and 10% for A, B, and C partners, respectively. The calculated earnings of company One are one million (where eight hundred thousand are stock earnings, and two hundred thousand are non-stock earnings). How much income tax should be paid by the company One, and partners A, B, and C?

  (1) Pursuant to the Income Tax Act, before the amended draft:

1. One Venture Capital Limited Partnership
Should pay Profit-Seeking Enterprise Income Tax = (NT$1,000,000 (earning) - NT$500,000[6])x12% (tax rate[7])=NT$60,000

2. Domestic Individual A
Should file a comprehensive income report with business profit income =(NT$1,000,000-NT$60,000) x 10% (company One draft a voucher for net amount for A) + NT$60,000÷2×10% (deductible tax rate)= NT$97,000
Tax payable on profit earnings=NT$91,500×5%(tax rate)=NT$4,850
Actual income tax paid=NT$4,850 - NT$60,000÷2×10% (deductible tax rate) =NT$1,485

3. Domestic For-Profit Business B
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 42 of the Income Tax Act, the net dividend or net income received by a profit-seeking company is not included in the income tax calculation.

4. Foreign For-Profit Business C
Tax paid at its earning source=(NT$1,000,000 - NT$60,000) ×10% (earning distribution rate) ×20% (tax rate at earning source)=NT$18,800

  (2) Applying Pass Through Taxation Method After Enacting the Amendment

1. One Venture Capital Limited Partnership
No income tax.

2. Domestic Individual A
Should pay tax=NT$800,000 (non-stock distributed earnings)×10% (earning distribution rate)×5% (comprehensive income tax rate)=NT$1,000

3. Domestic For-Profit Business B
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 42 of the Income Tax Act, the net dividend or net income received by a profit-seeking company is not included in the income tax calculation.

4. Foreign For-Profit Business C
Tax paid at its earning source=NT$800,000 (non-stock distributed earnings)×10%(earning distribution rate)×20% (tax rate at earning source)=NT$4,000

  The aforementioned example shows that under the situation, where the earning distribution is the same and tax rate for the same taxation subject is the same, the newly-established venture capital limited partnerships and their shareholders enjoy a more favorable tax benefit with the adoption of pass through taxation method:

 

Before the Amendment

After the Amendment

Venture Capital Limited Partnership

NT$60,000

Excluded in calculation

Shareholders

Domestic Individual

NT$1,850

NT$1,000

Domestic For-Profit Business

Excluded in calculation

Excluded in calculation

Foreign For-Profit Business

NT$18,800

NT$4,000

Sub-total

NT$80,650

NT$5,000

III. Conclusion

  Compared to the corporate taxation, the application of the pass through taxation method allows for a significant reduction in tax burden. While developing Taiwan’s pass through tax scheme, the government referenced corporate taxation under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC), where companies that meet the conditions of Chapter S can adopt the “pass through” method, that is, pass the earnings to the owner, with the income of shareholders being the objects of taxation;[8] and studied the "Transparenzprinzip" adopted by the German taxation board for partnership style for-profit businesses. Following these legislative examples, where profits are identified as belonging to organization members,[9] the government legislation includes the adoption of the pass through taxation scheme for venture capital limited partnerships in the amended draft of Article 23-1 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation, so that the legislation is up to international standards and norms, while making an important breakthrough in the current income tax system. This is truly worthy of praise.


[1] The Legislative Yuan Gazette, Vol. 104, No. 51, page 325. URL:http://misq.ly.gov.tw/MISQ//IQuery/misq5000Action.action

[2] A View on the Limited Partnership in Taiwan, Cross-Strait Law Review, No. 54, Liao, Da-Ying, Page 42.

[3] Ministry of Economic Affairs - Limited Partnership Registration Information URL: http://gcis.nat.gov.tw/lmpub/lms/dir.jsp?showgcislocation=true&agencycode=allbf

[4] Same as annotate 2, pages 51-52.

[5] Reference Letter of Interpretation dated December 18, 2015, Tai-Cai-Shui Zi No. 10400636640, the Ministry of Finance

[6] First half of Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Income Basic Tax Act

[7] Second half of Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Income Basic Tax Act

[8] A Study on the Limited Partnership Act,  Master’s degree thesis, College of Law, Soochow University, Wu, Tsung-Yeh, pages 95-96.

[9] Reference annotate 2, pages 52.

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※A Before and After Impact Comparison of Applying Statute for Industrial Innovation Article 23-1 Draft on Venture Capital Limited Partnerships,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=8026 (Date:2019/01/16)
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Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – Observation of the Swiss Research Innovation System

Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – Observation of the Swiss Research Innovation System I. Foreword   Switzerland is a landlocked country situated in Central Europe, spanning an area of 41,000 km2, where the Alps occupy 60% of the territory, while it owns little cultivated land and poor natural resources. In 2011, its population was about 7,950,000 persons[1]. Since the Swiss Federal was founded, it has been adhering to a diplomatic policy claiming neutrality and peace, and therefore, it is one of the safest and most stable countries in the world. Switzerland is famous for its high-quality education and high-level technological development and is very competitive in biomedicine, chemical engineering, electronics and metal industries in the international market. As a small country with poor resources, the Swiss have learnt to drive their economic and social development through education, R&D and innovation a very long time ago. Some renowned enterprises, including Nestle, Novartis and Roche, are all based in Switzerland. Meanwhile, a lot of creative small-sized and medium-sized enterprises based in Switzerland are dedicated to supporting the export-orientation economy in Switzerland.   Switzerland has the strongest economic strength and plentiful innovation energy. Its patent applications, publication of essay, frequencies of quotation and private enterprises’ innovation performance are remarkable all over the world. According to the Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Switzerland has ranked first among the most competitive countries in the world for four years consecutively since 2009[2]. Meanwhile, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) released by INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) jointly, Switzerland has also ranked first in 2011 and 2012 consecutively[3]. Obviously, Switzerland has led the other countries in the world in innovation development and economic strength. Therefore, when studying the R&D incentives and boosting the industrial innovation, we might benefit from the experience of Switzerland to help boost the relevant mechanism in Taiwan.   Taiwan’s government organization reform has been launched officially and boosted step by step since 2012. In the future, the National Science Council will be reformed into the “Ministry of Science and Technology”, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs into the “Ministry of Economy and Energy”, and the Department of Industrial Development into the “Department of Industry and Technology”. Therefore, Taiwan’s technology administrative system will be changed materially. Under the new government organizational framework, how Taiwan’s technology R&D and industrial innovation system divide work and coordinate operations to boost the continuous economic growth in Taiwan will be the first priority without doubt. Support of innovation policies is critical to promotion of continuous economic growth. The Swiss Government supports technological research and innovation via various organizations and institutions effectively. In recent years, it has achieved outstanding performance in economy, education and innovation. Therefore, we herein study the functions and orientation of the competent authorities dedicated to boosting research and innovation in Switzerland, and observe its policies and legal system applied to boost the national R&D in order to provide the reference for the functions and orientation of the competent authorities dedicated to boosting R&D and industrial innovation in Taiwan. II. Overview of Swiss Federal Technology Laws and Technology Administrative System   Swiss national administrative organization is subject to the council system. The Swiss Federal Council is the national supreme administrative authority, consisting of 7 members elected from the Federal Assembly and dedicated to governing a Federal Government department respectively. Switzerland is a federal country consisting of various cantons that have their own constitutions, councils and governments, respectively, entitled to a high degree of independence.   Article 64 of the Swiss Federal Constitution[4] requires that the federal government support research and innovation. The “Research and Innovation Promotion Act” (RIPA)[5] is dedicated to fulfilling the requirements provided in Article 64 of the Constitution. Article 1 of the RIPA[6] expressly states that the Act is enacted for the following three purposes: 1. Promoting the scientific research and science-based innovation and supporting evaluation, promotion and utilization of research results; 2. Overseeing the cooperation between research institutions, and intervening when necessary; 3. Ensuring that the government funding in research and innovation is utilized effectively. Article 4 of the RIPA provides that the Act shall apply to the research institutions dedicated to innovation R&D and higher education institutions which accept the government funding, and may serve to be the merit for establishment of various institutions dedicated to boosting scientific research, e.g., the National Science Foundation and Commission of Technology & Innovation (CTI). Meanwhile, the Act also provides detailed requirements about the method, mode and restriction of the government funding.   According to the RIPA amended in 2011, the Swiss Federal Government’s responsibility for promoting innovation policies has been extended from “promotion of technology R&D” to “unification of education, research and innovation management”, making the Swiss national industrial innovation framework more well-founded and consistent[8] . Therefore, upon the government organization reform of Switzerland in 2013, most of the competent authorities dedicated to technology in Swiss have been consolidated into the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.   Under the framework, the Swiss Federal Government assigned higher education, job training, basic scientific research and innovation to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), while the Commission of Technology & Innovation (CTI) was responsible for boosting the R&D of application scientific technology and industrial technology and cooperation between the industries and academy. The two authorities are directly subordinate to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER). The Swiss Science and Technology Council (SSTC), subordinate to the SERI is an advisory entity dedicated to Swiss technology policies and responsible for providing the Swiss Federal Government and canton governments with the advice and suggestion on scientific, education and technology innovation policies. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is an entity dedicated to boosting the basic scientific R&D, known as the two major funding entities together with CTI for Swiss technology R&D. The organizations, duties, functions and operations of certain important entities in the Swiss innovation system are introduced as following. Date source: Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research official website Fig. 1 Swiss Innovation Framework Dedicated to Boosting Industries-Swiss Federal Economic, Education and Research Organizational Chart 1. State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation (SERI)   SERI is subordinate to the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, and is a department of the Swiss Federal Government dedicated to managing research and innovation. Upon enforcement of the new governmental organization act as of January 1, 2013, SERI was established after the merger of the State Secretariat for Education and Research, initially subordinate to Ministry of Interior, and the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OEPT), initially subordinated to Ministry of Economic Affairs. For the time being, it governs the education, research and innovation (ERI). The transformation not only integrated the management of Swiss innovation system but also unified the orientations toward which the research and innovation policy should be boosted.   SERI’s core missions include “enactment of national technology policies”, “coordination of research activities conducted by higher education institutions, ETH, and other entities of the Federal Government in charge of various areas as energy, environment, traffic and health, and integration of research activities conducted by various government entities and allocation of education, research and innovation resources. Its functions also extend to funding the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to enable SNSF to subsidize the basic scientific research. Meanwhile, the international cooperation projects for promotion of or participation in research & innovation activities are also handled by SERI to ensure that Switzerland maintains its innovation strength in Europe and the world.   The Swiss Science and Technology Council (SSTC) is subordinate to SERI, and also the advisory unit dedicated to Swiss technology policies, according to Article 5a of RIPA[9]. The SSTC is responsible for providing the Swiss Federal Government and canton governments with advice and suggestion about science, education and innovation policies. It consists of the members elected from the Swiss Federal Council, and a chairman is elected among the members. 2. Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)   The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is one of the most important institutions dedicated to funding research, responsible for promoting the academic research related to basic science. It supports about 8,500 scientists each year. Its core missions cover funding as incentives for basic scientific research. It grants more than CHF70 million each year. Nevertheless, the application science R&D, in principle, does not fall in the scope of funding by the SNSF. The Foundation allocates the public research fund under the competitive funding system and thereby maintains its irreplaceable identity, contributing to continuous output of high quality in Switzerland.   With the support from the Swiss Federal Government, the SNSF was established in 1952. In order to ensure independence of research, it was planned as a private institution when it was established[10]. Though the funding is provided by SERI, the SNSF still has a high degree of independence when performing its functions. The R&D funding granted by the SNSF may be categorized into the funding to free basic research, specific theme-oriented research, and international cooperative technology R&D, and the free basic research is granted the largest funding. The SNSF consists of Foundation Council, National Research Council and Research Commission[11]. Data source: prepared by the Study Fig. 2  Swiss National Science Foundation Organizational Chart (1) Foundation Council   The Foundation Council is the supreme body of the SNSF[12], which is primarily responsible for making important decisions, deciding the role to be played by the SNSF in the Swiss research system, and ensuring SNSF’s compliance with the purpose for which it was founded. The Foundation Council consists of the members elected from the representatives from important research institutions, universities and industries in Swiss, as well as the government representatives nominated by the Swiss Federal Council. According to the articles of association of the SNSF[13], each member’s term of office should be 4 years, and the members shall be no more than 50 persons. The Foundation Council also governs the Executive Committee of the Foundation Council consisting of 15 Foundation members. The Committee carries out the mission including selection of National Research Council members and review of the Foundation budget. (2) National Research Council   The National Research Council is responsible for reviewing the applications for funding and deciding whether the funding should be granted. It consists of no more than 100 members, mostly researchers in universities and categorized, in four groups by major[14], namely, 1. Humanities and Social Sciences; 2. Math, Natural Science and Engineering; 3. Biology and Medical Science; and 4. National Research Programs (NRPs)and National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCRs). The NRPs and NCCRs are both limited to specific theme-oriented research plans. The funding will continue for 4~5years, amounting to CHF5 million~CHF20 million[15]. The specific theme-oriented research is applicable to non-academic entities, aiming at knowledge and technology transfer, and promotion and application of research results. The four groups evaluate and review the applications and authorize the funding amount.   Meanwhile, the representative members from each group form the Presiding Board dedicated to supervising and coordinating the operations of the National Research Council, and advising the Foundation Council about scientific policies, reviewing defined funding policies, funding model and funding plan, and allocating funding by major. (3) Research Commissions   Research Commissions are established in various higher education research institutions. They serve as the contact bridge between higher education academic institutions and the SNSF. The research commission of a university is responsible for evaluating the application submitted by any researcher in the university in terms of the school conditions, e.g., the school’s basic research facilities and human resource policies, and providing advice in the process of application. Meanwhile, in order to encourage young scholars to attend research activities, the research committee may grant scholarships to PhD students and post-doctor research[16]. ~to be continued~ [1] SWISS FEDERAL STATISTICS OFFICE, Switzerland's population 2011 (2012), http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/news/publikationen.Document.163772.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013). [2] WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM [WEF], The Global Competiveness Report 2012-2013 (2012), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2012-13.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2011-2012 (2011), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GCR_Report_2011-12.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2010-2011 (2010), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2010-11.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2009-2010 (2009),. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2009-10.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013). [3] INSEAD, The Global Innovation Index 2012 Report (2012), http://www.globalinnovationindex.org/gii/GII%202012%20Report.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); INSEAD, The Global Innovation Index 2011 Report (2011), http://www.wipo.int/freepublications/en/economics/gii/gii_2011.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013). [4] SR 101 Art. 64: “Der Bund fördert die wissenschaftliche Forschung und die Innovation.” [5] Forschungs- und Innovationsförderungsgesetz, vom 7. Oktober 1983 (Stand am 1. Januar 2013). For the full text, please see www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/4/420.1.de.pdf (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [6] Id. [7] Id. [8] CTI, CTI Multi-year Program 2013-2016 7(2012), available at http://www.kti.admin.ch/?lang=en&download=NHzLpZeg7t,lnp6I0NTU042l2Z6ln1ad1IZn4Z2qZpnO2Yuq2Z6gpJCDeYR,hGym162epYbg2c_JjKbNoKSn6A-- (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [9] Supra note 5. [10] Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/default.aspx (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [11] Id. [12] Foundation Council, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/foundationcouncil.aspx (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [13] See Statutes of Swiss National Science Foundation Art.8 & Art. 9, available at http://www.snf.ch/SiteCollectionDocuments/statuten_08_e.pdf (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [14] National Research Council, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/researchcouncil/Pages/default.aspx (last visted Jun.3, 2013). [15] Theres Paulsen, VISION RD4SD Country Case Study Switzerland (2011), http://www.visionrd4sd.eu/documents/doc_download/109-case-study-switzerland (last visited Jun.6, 2013). [16] Research Commissions, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/researchcommissions.aspx (last visted Jun. 6, 2013).

Review of Taiwan's Existing Regulations on the Access to Bioloical Resources

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In terms of the scope of controlled resources, according to the guidance of the Wildlife Conservation Act and the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, governmental management authority is entitled to forbid the public to access the general and protected wild animals and the plant and biological resources that are classified as natural monuments. To analyse the regulation from another viewpoint, any access to resources in areas and of species other than the listed, such as wild plants or microorganism, is not regulated. Therefore, in terms of scope, Taiwan's management of the access to biological resources has not covered the whole scope. 2 、 Access Permit and Entrance Permit Taiwan's current management of biological resources adopts two kinds of schemes: access permit scheme and entrance permit in specific areas. The permit allows management authority to have the power to grant and reject the collection, hunting, or other activities to access resources by people. This scheme is similar to the international standard. The current management system for the access to biological resources promoted by many countries and international organizations does not usually cover the guidance of entrance in specific areas. This is resulting from that the scope of the regulation about access applies for the whole nation. However, since Taiwan has not developed regulations specifically for the access of bio-research resources, the import/export regulations in the existing Wildlife Conservation Act, National Park Law, Forestry Act, and Cultural Heritage Preservation Act may provide certain help if these regulations be properly connected with the principle of access and benefit sharing model, so that they will help to urge people to share the research interests. 3 、 Special Treatments for Academic Research Purpose and Aborigines Comparing to the access for the purpose of business operation, Taiwan's regulations favour the research and development that contains collection and hunting for the purpose of academic researches. The regulation gives permits to the access to biological resources for the activities with nature of academic researches. For instance, the Wildlife Conservation Act, National Park Law, and theCultural Heritage Preservation Act allow the access of regulated biological resources, if the academic research unit obtains the permit, or simply inform the management authority. In addition, the access by the aborigines is also protected by the Forestry Act, Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, and the Aboriginal Basic Act. The aborigines have the right to freely access to biological resources such as plants, animals and fungi. 4 、 The Application of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) In topics of the access to and benefit sharing of biological resources, the PIC between parties of interests has been the focus of international regulation. Similarly, when Taiwan was establishing theAboriginal Basic Act, this regulation was included to protect the aborigines' rights to be consulted, to agree, to participate and to share the interests. 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The aim of the Genetic Resources Act is to establish the guidance of the access of genetic resources and the sharing of interests in order to preserve the genetic resources. The draft regulates that the bio-prospecting activity should be classified into business and academic, with the premise of not interfering the traditional usages. After classification, application of the permit should be conducted via either general or express process. During the permit application, the prospector, the management authority, and the owner of the prospected land should conclude an agreement jointly. In the event that the prospector wishes to apply for intellectual property rights, the prospector should disclose the origin of the genetic resources and provide the legally effective documents of obtaining these resources. In addition, a Biodiversity Fund should be established to manage the profits derived from genetic resources. The import/export of genetic resources should also be regulated. Violators should be fined.

Executive Yuan roll-out The Policy of “The Free Economic Pilot Zones”

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At the end of May, the Joint Economic, Internal Administration, and Finance Committee of the Legislation Yuan (the Congress) have taken five public hearings for the Bill, and amended the Bill according to the advices proposed by specialists. Not until the deliberation of the Bill item by item and its passage in the Congress, the second stage of the FEDZ program would not be initiated. There are five main points, including the treatments on foreigners, tax incentives for R.O.C businessman, foreign professionals and foreign companies, regulations on untaxed goods and labor, regulations on industrial development, such as the agriculture and the medical service, and certain new items on education and professional services.The government considers that there have to be enough human resource to sustain the opened industries, so Executive Yuan is trying to promote innovative education in FEPZs. The core concept of FEPZs is foresight, liberalization and internationalization, the premier said, and the higher education systems belong to high-end service and have much more marketability and variability compared to other education systems. Through innovative and efficient way to manage the school could let University being much more liberalized. Furthermore, the higher education systems in R.O.C. have to connect with international education to avoid being marginalized. Our first stage of education innovation will promote to set up “degree programs” and “professional courses”. The first phase for the Ministry of Education is going to found “degree programs” or “professional courses” through collaboration way. The Ministry of Education will also draw up related regulations or guidance on standards for school cooperation, co-regulation, setup conditions, supervision, enrolling new student, and recruiting staff.? Once the Bills pass, The Ministry of Education plans to establish “branch school” and “independence campus” helping R.O.C. higher education goes internationalized.On the other hand, Our medical service also has strong international competitiveness. R.O.C is engage in developing international medical and health industry. The premier said, the Ministry of Health and Welfare have proposed some measures, such as limitation to the number of medical centre, medical personnel working hours, and NHI is not allow to use in the zones.The premier added, on the extemporaneous sittings, “The Free Economic Pilot Zones Special Act” will be the priority bills and be deliberated in the end of June By establishing the free economic demonstration zone, it is expected to propel R.O.C take part in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).3.Executive Yuan’s rapid roll-out of “The Free Economic Pilot Zones”, and has published a report concerning the legal and economic implications of its the BillThe “Free Economic Pilot Zones” (hereinafter as FEPZs) plays a pivotal role in promoting market liberalization, especially at an international level. Premier of the Executive Yuan, Mr. Jiang Yi-Hua has stated that the “market economy” and “innovation economy” allows for tremendous economic prosperity to be embraced by the Republic of China (hereinafter as R.O.C). The seizing of such opportunity has been the goal of government efforts, which can be attested by the recent proposal of the “The Free Economic Pilot Zones Special Act” (hereinafter as the Bill), currently undergoing review and consultation proceedings. The Premier further stressed that the national economy should not be left excluded from international commerce, on the other hand, it is imperative that closer economic bonds with other nations are forged, therefore allowing itself open up to wider scope of opportunities for growth. The key in rendering this possible is through the enactment of laws. At a time, when Trans-Pacific nations, including the United States of America, Japan and countries from Southeast Asia, are working towards regional economic cooperation, if R.O.C. is to be left out, it is feared that its position in the global market would further be marginalized.The core innovative strengths of the FEPZs include “Smart Logistics”, “International healthcare services”, “Value added agriculture”, “Financial Services”, “Education Innovation”, all of which are implemented by employing R.O.C.’s finest workforce, knowledge, information and communications technology (ICT), geographical position and cross-strait relationship advantages, leading way for an advantageous basis for pioneering economic development. The first stage of development will be based on 6 locations proximal to the sea (including Keelung Port, Taipei Port, Kaohsiung Port, Suao Harbor, Anping Port, Taichung Port) and Taoyuan Aerotropolis and Pingtung Agricultural Biotech Park. The second stage of development would only commence after the Bill have been approved by the legislative Yuan, which would attract much capital investment, hence boosting high employment rates. Presently, besides the aforementioned regions opened up for the FEPZs, other cities and industrial sites (including those from offshore islands), are striving to gain membership of the FEPZs, or applying for empirical research of the FEPZs.The Executive Yuan has published a report concerning the legal and economic implications of its the Bill on May 2014. The report largely consists of assessments made by varying governing bodies, such as Ministry of Home Affairs, Financial Supervisory Commission etc., on the implications of the draft concerning real estate, employment, fiscal income, logistics, conditions for medical care, agriculture, higher education, social environment and social wealth redistribution etc.Furthermore, international attention has been closely centered on the progress of FEPZs. During the “The third review of the trade policies and practices of Chinese Taipei” after R.O.C accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) held on the 17th of September 2014 in Geneva, each member state has demonstrated expectations arising out of the direction and planning undertaken for the FEPZs. National economic and international commercial reforms are under way and have seen much progress in further promoting the overall strength of the economic system, in an effort to respond to the rapid global political and economic developments, for example, through the signing of Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), and the implementation of FEPZs policies. In the future, it will be expected that R.O.C. will strive for a more integral international commercial system, allowing much capital investment inflows as well as the cultivating of high-caliber human resources.To promote more liberal and internationalized development of Taiwan economy, government of Republic of China (R.O.C) approved the “Free Economic Pilot Zone (FEPZ) Plan,” which the Bill is currently censored in Legislation Yuan and the measures would be implemented in two phases. The first phase of FEPZs would be initiated within six free trade ports, Taoyuan airport free trade zone, and Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park; other industries that match up with the idea of liberalization, internationalization and foresight can all be incorporated into FEPZ through continuing examination under Execution Yuan. After this special legislation is passed, the set-ups of demonstration zones can be applied by authorities either of central or of local government and the related promotion works of the second phase will be unfolded immediately.Heading to the target of becoming Kin-Xiao (Kinmen and Xiaomen) Free Trade Zone, Kinmen government planned to apply to be one of the FEPZs and thus cooperated with Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) on December 11, for a commissioned research (which was later released on the conference of accelerating Kin-Xia FTZ on December 19) on evaluating if Kinmen is qualified for an application of FEPZs. Kinmen’s critical location and the featured industries have composed a perfect environment complying with the ideas such as value-added agriculture, international healthcare and innovative education for FEPZ. For instance, the white liquor industry in Kinmen represents the international management and promotion of agricultural products, and is the best example for value-added agriculture. “Long-term Healthcare Village in Kinmen,” which is currently developing in Kinmen, would also be a drive for international healthcare industry. Based on the Taiwan-featured culture, “International Education City” could be developed with a liberal and innovative atmosphere, which would attract famous schools in world to set up their branch school in Kinmen. Above all, Kinmen County vice Mayor, Wu Yo-Chin, indicated that Kinmen would be the first choice for FEPZ and would hold the key to open a new gate for the Cross-Strait. The vice Mayor emphasized that Kinmen government has well budgeting and financial management, which needn’t the extra aids from central government, yet Kinmen was excluded in the first phase of FEPZs. Although Kinmen would apply to be a FEPZ in the second phase after the special legislation passed, Kinmen still strived for taking part in the first phase of FEPZs due to the uncertain schedule for implementation of regulations on FEPZs.National Development Council (NDC), however, gave an opinion on issue of Kinmen applying to be in the first phase of FEPZs, which declared again the original plan for the first phase only included six free trade ports, Taoyuan airport free trade zone, and Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park. NDC also suggested Kinmen could still follow after the first phase and apply to be a FEPZ in the second phase.

Executive Yuan’s call to action:“Industrial Upgrading and Transformation Action Plan”

I.Introduction Having sustained the negative repercussions following the global financial crisis of 2008, Taiwan’s average economic growth rate decreased from 4.4 percent (during 2000-2007 years) to 3 percent (2008-2012). This phenomenon highlighted the intrinsic problems the Taiwanese economic growth paradigm was facing, seen from the perspective of its development momentum and industrial framework: sluggish growth of the manufacturing industries and the weakening productivity of the service sector. Moreover, the bleak investment climate of the post-2008 era discouraged domestic investors injecting capital into the local economy, rendering a prolonged negative investment growth rate. To further exacerbation, the European Debt Crisis of 2011 – 2012 has impacted to such detriment of private investors and enterprises, that confidence and willingness to invest in the private sector were utterly disfavored. It can be observed that as Taiwan’s industrial core strength is largely concentrated within the the manufacturing sector, the service sector, on the other hand, dwindles. Similarly, the country’s manufacturing efforts have been largely centered upon the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) industry, where the norm of production has been the fulfillment of international orders in components manufacturing and Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM). Additionally, the raising-up of society’s ecological awareness has further halted the development of the upstream petrochemical and metal industry. Consumer goods manufacturing growth impetus too has been stagnated. Against the backdrop of the aforementioned factors at play as well as the competitive pressure exerted on Taiwan by force of the rapid global and regional economic integration developments, plans to upgrade and transform the existing industrial framework, consequently, arises out as an necessary course of action by the state. Accordingly, Taiwan’s Executive Yuan approved and launched the “Industrial Upgrading and Transformation Action Plan”, on the 13th of October 2014, aiming to reform traditional industries, reinforcing core manufacturing capacities and fostering innovative enterprises, through the implementation of four principal strategies: Upgrading of Product Grade and Value, Establishment of Complete Supply Chain, Setting-up of System Integration Solutions Capability, Acceleration of Growth in the Innovative Sector. II.Current challenges confronting Taiwanese industries 1.Effective apportionment of industrial development funds Despite that Research and Development (R&D) funds takes up 3.02% of Taiwan’s national GDP, there has been a decrease of the country’s investment in industrial and technology research. Currently Taiwan’s research efforts have been directed mostly into manufacturing process improvement, as well as into the high-tech sector, however, traditional and service industries on the other hand are lacking in investments. If research funds for the last decade could be more efficiently distributed, enterprises would be equally encouraged to likewise invest in innovation research. However, it should be noted that Taiwan’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) based on their traditional developmental models, do not place research as their top priority. Unlike practices in countries such as Germany and Korea, the research fund input by private enterprises into academic and research institutions is still a relatively unfamiliar exercise in Taiwan. With regards to investment focus, the over-concentration in ICTs should be redirected to accommodate growth possibilities for other industries as well. It has been observed that research investments in the pharmaceutical and electric equipment manufacturing sector has increased, yet in order to not fall into the race-to-the-bottom trap for lowest of costs, enterprises should be continually encouraged to develop high-quality and innovative products and services that would stand out. 2.Human talent and labor force issues Taiwan’s labor force, age 15 to 64, will have reached its peak in 2015, after which will slowly decline. It has been estimated that in 2011 the working population would amount to a meager 55.8%. If by mathematical deduction, based on an annual growth rate of 3%, 4% and 5%, in the year 2020 the labor scarcity would increase from 379,000, 580,000 to 780,000 accordingly. Therefore, it is crucial that productivity must increase, otherwise labor shortage of the future will inevitably stagnate economic growth. Notwithstanding that Taiwan’s demographical changes have lead to a decrease in labor force; the unfavorable working conditions so far has induced skilled professionals to seek employment abroad. The aging society along with decrease in birth rates has further exacerbated the existing cul-de-sac in securing a robust workforce. In 1995 the employment rate under the age of 34 was 46.35%, yet in 2010 it dropped to a daunting 37.6%. 3.Proportional land-use and environmental concerns Taiwan’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a time-consuming and often unpredictable process that has substantially deterred investor’s confidence. Additionally, there exists a disproportionate use of land resources in Taiwan, given that demand for its use predominantly stems from the northern and middle region of the country. Should the government choose to balance out the utilization of land resources across Taiwan through labor and tax policies, the situation may be corrected accordingly. III.Industrial Upgrading and Transformation Strategies The current action plan commences its implementation from October 2014 to end of December 2024. The expected industrial development outcomes are as follows: (1) Total output value of the manufacturing sector starting from 2013 at NTD 13.93 trillion is expected to grow in 2020 to NTD 19.46 trillion. (2) Total GDP of the service sector, starting at 3.03 trillion from 2011 is expected to grow in 2020 to 4.75 trillion NTD. 1.Strategy No.1 : Upgrading of product grade and value Given that Taiwan’s manufacturing industry’s rate for added value has been declining year after year, the industry should strive to evolve itself to be more qualitative and value-added oriented, starting from the development of high-end products, including accordingly high-value research efforts in harnessing essential technologies, in the metallic materials, screws and nuts manufacturing sector, aviation, petrochemical, textile and food industries etc. (1) Furtherance of quality research Through the employment of Technology Development Program (TDP) Organizations, Industrial TDP and Academic TDP, theme-based and pro-active Research and Development programs, along with other related secondary assistance measures, the industrial research capability will be expanded. The key is in targeting research in high-end products so that critical technology can be reaped as a result. (2) Facilitating the formation of research alliances with upper-, mid- and downstream enterprises Through the formation of research and development alliances, the localization of material and equipment supply is secured; hence resulting in national autonomy in production capacity. Furthermore, supply chain between industrial component makers and end-product manufacturers are to be conjoined and maintained. National enterprises too are to be pushed forth towards industrial research development, materializing the technical evolution of mid- and downstream industries. (3) Integrative development assistance in Testing and Certification The government will support integrative development in testing and certification, in an effort to boost national competitive advantage thorough benefitting from industrial clusters as well as strengthening value-added logistics services, including collaboration in related value-added services. (4) Establishment of international logistics centre Projection of high-value product and industrial cluster image, through the establishment of an international logistics centre. 2.Strategy No.2 : Establishment of a Complete Supply Chain The establishing a robust and comprehensive supply chain is has at its aim transforming national production capabilities to be sovereign and self-sustaining, without having to resort to intervention of foreign corporations. This is attained through the securing of key materials, components and equipments manufacturing capabilities. This strategy finds its application in the field of machine tool controllers, flat panel display materials, semiconductor devices (3D1C), high-end applications processor AP, solar cell materials, special alloys for the aviation industry, panel equipment, electric vehicle motors, power batteries, bicycle electronic speed controller (ESC), electrical silicon steel, robotics, etc. The main measures listed are as follows: (1) Review of industry gaps After comprehensive review of existing technology gaps depicted by industry, research and academic institutions, government, strategies are to be devised, so that foreign technology can be introduced, such as by way of cooperative ventures, in order to promote domestic autonomous development models. (2) Coordination of Research and Development unions – building-up of autonomous supply chain. Integrating mid- and downstream research and development unions in order to set up a uniform standard in equipment, components and materials in its functional specifications. (3) Application-theme-based research programs Through the release of public notice, industries are invited to submit research proposals focusing on specific areas, so that businesses are aided in developing their own research capabilities in core technologies and products. (4) Promotion of cross-industry cooperation to expand fields of mutual application Continuously expanding field of technical application and facilitating cross-industry cooperation; Taking advantage of international platform to induce cross-border technical collaboration. 3.Strategy No.3 : Setting-up of System Integration Solutions capability Expanding turnkey-factory and turnkey-project system integration capabilities, in order to increase and stimulate export growth; Combination of smart automation systems to strengthen hardware and software integration, hence, boosting system integration solution capacity, allowing stand-alone machinery to evolve into a total solution plant, thus creating additional fields of application and services, effectively expanding the value-chain. These type of transitions are to be seen in the following areas: turnkey-factory and turnkey-project exports, intelligent automated manufacturing, cloud industry, lifestyle (key example: U-Bike in Taipei City) industry, solar factory, wood-working machinery, machine tools, food/paper mills, rubber and plastic machines sector. Specific implementation measure s includes: (1) Listing of national export capability – using domestic market as test bed for future global business opportunities Overall listing of all national system integration capabilities and gaps and further assistance in building domestic “test beds” for system integration projects, so that in the future system-integration solutions can be exported abroad, especially to the emerging economies (including ASEAN, Mainland China) where business opportunities should be fully explored. The current action plan should simultaneously assist these national enterprises in their marketing efforts. (2) Formation of System Integration business alliances and Strengthening of export capability through creation of flagship team Formation of system integration business alliances, through the use of national equipment and technology, with an aim to comply with global market’s needs. Promotion of export of turnkey-factory and turnkey-projects, in order to make an entrance to the global high-value system integration market. Bolstering of international exchanges, allowing European and Asian banking experts assist Taiwanese enterprises in enhancing bids efforts. (3) Establishing of financial assistance schemes to help national enterprises in their overseas bidding efforts Cooperation with financial institutes creating financial support schemes in syndicated loans for overseas bidding, in order to assist national businesses in exporting their turnkey-factories and turnkey-solutions abroad. 4. Strategy No.4 : Acceleration of growth in the innovative sectors Given Taiwan economy’s over-dependence on the growth of the electronics industry, a new mainstream industry replacement should be developed. Moreover, the blur distinction between the manufacturing, service and other industries, presses Taiwan to develop cross-fields of application markets, so that the market opportunities of the future can be fully explored. Examples of these markets include: Smart Campus, Intelligent Transportation System, Smart Health, Smart City, B4G/5G Communications, Strategic Service Industries, Next-Generation Semiconductors, Next-Generation Visual Display, 3D Printing, New Drugs and Medical Instruments, Smart Entertainment, Lifestyle industry (for instance the combination of plan factory and leisure tourism), offshore wind power plant, digital content (including digital learning), deep sea water. Concrete measures include: (1) Promotion of cooperation between enterprises and research institutions to increase efficiency in the functioning of the national innovation process Fostering of Industry-academic cooperation, combining pioneering academic research results with efficient production capability; Cultivation of key technology, accumulation of core intellectual property, strengthening integration of industrial technology and its market application, as well as, establishment of circulation integration platform and operational model for intellectual property. (2) Creating the ideal Ecosystem for innovation industries Strategic planning of demo site, constructing an ideal habitat for the flourishing of innovation industries, as well as the inland solution capability. Promotion of international-level testing environment, helping domestic industries to be integrated with overseas markets and urging the development of new business models through open competition. Encouraging international cooperation efforts, connecting domestic technological innovation capacities with industries abroad. (3) Integration of Cross-Branch Advisory Resources and Deregulation to further support Industrial Development Cross-administrations consultations further deregulation to support an ideal industrial development environment and overcoming traditional cross-branch developmental limitations in an effort to develop innovation industries. IV. Conclusion Taiwan is currently at a pivotal stage in upgrading its industry, the role of the government will be clearly evidenced by its efforts in promoting cross-branch/cross-fields cooperation, establishing a industrial-academic cooperation platform. Simultaneously, the implementation of land, human resources, fiscal, financial and environmental policies will be adopted to further improve the investment ambient, so that Taiwan’s businesses, research institutions and the government could all come together, endeavoring to help Taiwan breakthrough its currently economic impasse through a thorough industrial upgrading. Moreover, it can be argued that the real essence of the present action plan lies in the urge to transform Taiwan’s traditional industries into incubation centers for innovative products and services. With the rapid evolution of ICTs, accelerating development and popular use of Big Data and the Internet of Things, traditional industries can no longer afford to overlook its relation with these technologies and the emerging industries that are backed by them. It is only through the close and intimate interconnection between these two industries that Taiwan’s economy would eventually get the opportunity to discard its outdated growth model based on “quantity” and “cost”. It is believed that the aforementioned interaction is an imperative that would allow Taiwanese industries to redefine its own value amidst fierce global market competition. The principal efforts by the Taiwanese government are in nurturing such a dialogue to occur with the necessary platform, as well as financial and human resources. An illustration of the aforementioned vision can be seen from the “Industrie 4.0” project lead by Germany – the development of intelligent manufacturing, through close government, business and academic cooperation, combining the internet of things development, creating promising business opportunities of the Smart Manufacturing and Services market. This is the direction that Taiwan should be leading itself too. References 1.Executive Yuan, Republic of China http://www.ey.gov.tw/en/(last visited: 2015.02.06) 2.Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs http://www.moeaidb.gov.tw/(last visited: 2015.02.06) 3.Industrial Upgrading and Transformation Action Plan http://www.moeaidb.gov.tw/external/ctlr?PRO=filepath.DownloadFile&f=policy&t=f&id=4024(last visited: 2015.02.06)

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