Tsai pledges to expand international cooperation on medical technology R&D

President Tsai Ing-wen said Nov. 29 that the government is committed to bolstering collaboration between local and foreign firms on medical technology development so as to spotlight Taiwan’s prowess in the field and foster opportunities for biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector growth.

Taiwan provides a robust base for related R&D owing to its complete supply chain and cutting-edge health care expertise, Tsai said. This is illustrated by the number of drugs, medical devices and surgeries developed in the country as well as its high success rates for complex procedures such as cardiac ablations and minimally invasive reconstruction, she added.

The president made the remarks during her opening address at the Taiwan Healthcare Expo in Taipei City. Jointly organized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Taipei-based Research Center for Biotechnology and Medicine Policy, among other agencies, the four-day event is one of the most comprehensive medical industry exhibitions in Asia.

According to Tsai, Taiwan offers three major advantages as a hub for medical R&D. First, the nation possesses top-notch health care institutions that have set new global treatment standards while serving as training centers for professionals from around the world, she said.

These facilities are complemented by local expertise in crucial information and communication technology fields such as integrated circuits, Tsai added.

The final component is the country’s advanced design and production capabilities in medical devices and pharmaceuticals, the president said. Evidence of Taiwan’s know-how in this regard is provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s marketing approval of locally developed medicines for AIDS, kidney diseases and pancreatic cancer, as well as the nation’s status as the leading global exporter of electric wheelchairs.

Describing the expo as an ideal platform to showcase Taiwan’s wide-ranging biotech, health care and pharmaceutical expertise, Tsai said the event can help deepen cooperation between local and foreign businesses and establish the country as a leader in medical technology R&D.

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