(photo credit: Mashov Group)
A delegation of 16 professors from Taiwan’s top four universities wrapped up a five-day visit to Israel on Thursday, in which they explored ways of cooperating with their Israeli counterparts in the field of electronics.
The professors were representing Taiwan’s National Program for Intelligent Electronics, a $413 million government program that aims to develop the country’s already powerful electronics industry over the next five years. The program focuses mainly on the areas of electronics pertaining to medical devices, green energy, automotives and advanced consumer electronics.
Delegation leader Prof. Wen-Tsuen Chen, of National Tsing-Hua University, said not much had come out of bilateral trade agreements signed between Taiwan and Israel a decade ago. However, he said, his group’s visit would provide the boost needed to reach new levels of cooperation.
“We are very impressed by the entrepreneurship of Israeli companies,” Chen he told The Jerusalem Post
in between meetings Thursday. “You have very good government programs to sponsor industrial research, like incubation and research centers. These are all very good programs… and Taiwan can learn a lot from them. Taiwanese industry is very competitive, so I think we have a very good match for mutual cooperation.”
He said the delegates had read the book Start-up Nation, which tells the story of Israel’s hi-tech success, and were well aware that multinational corporations such as SanDisk and Microsoft use Israeli technology in their products. This had inspired the delegation’s decision to visit Israel, he said.
No agreements had been signed when Chen spoke to the Post, but he said he sees a chance for cooperation at the company, governmental and academic level.
During their visit, the delegation visited the Chief Scientist’s Office,
the Technion and Tel Aviv University, big multinationals including
Intel and Cisco, and Israeli companies such as Yokne’am-based
medical-technology firm Given Imaging, which markets diagnostic products
for the visualization and detection of gastrointestinal disorders.
The delegation’s visit is another indicator of the growing recognition
in Israel of the potential of doing business with Taiwan. A visa waiver
arrangement between Israel and Taiwan came into effect last month.
In addition, Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry figures show that Taiwan
overtook Japan and South Korea in the first half of 2011 as Israel’s
thirdlargest Asian trading partner, putting it behind only China and
India. This came on the back of a 28 percent rise in Israeli exports to
Taiwan in 2010, bringing the total to $468 million. Taiwanese exports to
Israel totaled $390m. in the same period.
Taiwan’s electronics industry is among the strongest in the world. The
country boasts the world’s two largest semiconductor companies, TMSC and
UMC, as well as two major multinational computer-products
manufacturers, Acer and Asus.
Israel’s commercial attache to Taipei, Ophir Gur, said in a press
release at the beginning of the delegation’s visit: “The synergy between
the impressive manufacturing capabilities of the giant Taiwanese
companies and the groundbreaking technologies coming out of Israel have
in the past few years moved from the stage of potential to the stage of