Israel signs R&D cooperation agreement with Taiwan

While in recent years, Israel has signed several such agreements, for Taiwan it is groundbreaking since it would be the first such agreement Taiwan has signed, following intensive efforts by the Israeli trade mission in Taiwan.

  Israel signs R&D cooperation agreement with Taiwan


(Israel Ministry of Economy)

Chief Scientist Avi Hasson will sign An agreement for cooperation in R&D with Taiwan will be signed on April 20, 2015  in the presence of Chief Scientist Avi Hasson and Taiwanese Minister of Economic Affairs John Chen-Chung Deng. The agreement is expected to boost cooperation between the economies of Israel and Taiwan.

While in recent years, Israel has signed several such agreements, including with Japan, for Taiwan it is groundbreaking since it would be the first such agreement Taiwan has signed, following intensive efforts by the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, with help of a representative of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Office of the Chief Scientist.

The government of Taiwan invests significant resources in research and development and has already in the past financed cooperation in academic research, but there was never government support for cooperation in R&D between private Taiwanese companies and foreign companies. Taiwan today is in increasing competition with its Asian neighbors: Japan, South Korea and China, and its only way of maintaining a competitive edge is by encouraging innovation.

The economies of Israel and Taiwan are not competitive by nature but rather complementary. Taiwan has a trade-oriented economy and is a world power in engineering and quality manufacturing, while Israel is a world leader in innovation. For this reason, possibilities for cooperation in research and development are diverse and numerous.

Head of the Israeli Bureau for Economy and Culture in Taiwan, Simona Halperin, emphasized that "Taiwan has in recent years discovered Israel as a powerhouse of innovation and entrepreneurship, complementary to Taiwan’s economic prowess as a world power in engineering and manufacturing. It is no secret that Taiwan is boarding the train several years after its neighbors – technology powers and competitors in eastern Asia like Korea and Japan – since the concept of government funding for R&D for Taiwanese and foreign companies is new to this country. On the other hand, in light of the fact that Taiwan has been looking in recent years for a way to reinvigorate its growth and return to the forefront of the Asian tigers, we expect this agreement to enable many opportunities for cooperation between companies and to become a stepping stone not just for bilateral cooperation but also for opening new markets for Israeli companies in Asia – from China to southeast Asia."

Head of Economic and Trade Mission in Taiwan and the Philippines, Doron Hemo, said: "In recent years, we have seen increasing interest from Taiwanese companies in what is happening in Israel. Taiwan today understands what was perhaps not clear four or five years ago – that Israel has much to offer in innovation and hi-tech and in fact both economies can be mutually beneficial. As evidence, we have seen in recent months repeated visits by flagship Taiwanese companies in Israel and we expect to see an increase in cooperation and visits from the Israeli industry to Taiwan." Hemo added that the agreement itself is immeasurably important for both economies and was certain that we will very soon witness joint R&D projects which will further increase bilateral trade.

The leading industries in Taiwan today are knowledge-based industries, and several Taiwanese companies are world leaders in their fields: Foxconn, the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic components and one of Apple’s leading suppliers; HTC, a manufacturer of smart phones and tablets; TSMC, the world’s largest chip producer; ASUS and Acer, manufacturers of computers, tablets and smart phones. Taiwan also holds a significant share of the overall world production of electronic components: 20% of the global semiconductor market, a quarter of the world’s LCD screen production and almost 90% of laptops.