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Australia and Taiwan ICT partnership to boost high-tech exports

23 September, 2009

Australia’s innovative ICT sector will benefit from new high-level discussions with Taiwan to forge closer ICT business ties through the Australian Taiwan Strategic Framework Agreement (ATSFA).

Speaking at the 5th Australia-Taiwan ICT Talks recently, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade The Hon. Anthony Byrne welcomed mutual efforts to build closer ICT engagement through the ATSFA.

"Information and Computer Technology has driven dramatic productivity increases in the Australian and global economy over the last twenty years.

"Taiwan is a world leader in the sale of ICT products, earning an average of US$90 billion a year in sales revenue, and makes 29 primarily ICT products which are ranked number one in the world in terms of production value or volume.

"While Australia's ICT industry is highly innovative, Australian companies can find barriers to the international market in the commercialisation, manufacture and distribution of their products.

"A Taiwan partner can provide a pragmatic pathway to market for Australian innovation in North East Asia and around the world.

"Taiwan is an important hub for intra-regional innovation and ICT supply chains in North East Asia. For example, it is estimated Taiwan-owned firms manage around 65% of China’s ICT production.

"Earlier this year, through the Government’s trade and investment arm, Austrade, in cooperation with the Ai Group, funded an initiative under the Global Opportunities program called the Australian-Taiwan ICT cluster, launched in May at the CeBit conference in Sydney.

"The cluster will create partnerships between Australian and Taiwan ICT firms, to develop and commercialise new innovations and successfully bring them to market."

"Two projects, HealthTrack and SmartTrack, are early fruits of this collaboration.

"The HealthTrack project will assist doctors monitor intensive care and remote patient symptoms, while the SmartTrack project seeks to use radio-frequency identification tracking and sophisticated software to track traded goods," Byrne said.

The Austrade-managed Global Opportunities program will provide export and investment facilitation services as well as funding support of up to $1.8 million over three years to eight industry clusters (including ICT) to assist over 100 Australian companies.

In 2008 Taiwan was Australia’s 8th largest export destination with merchandise exports increasing by 39.5% to reach A$8.7 billion. Taiwan investment in Australia totalled A$4.2 billion over the same period.

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