Taiwan's outgoing leader touts biotech growth

Taiwan is making moves to build up its biotechnology and medical sectors and said it plans to see up to $120.4 billion in total production by 2025, according to a report by Taiwan Today.

Taiwan's outgoing president, Ma Ying-jeou, said earlier this month that biotech "is set to become a major growth engine for the local economy in the years ahead" and said the government sponsored "Bio Taiwan Committee" would promote the sector and others including agriculture, food, healthcare, medical instruments and pharmaceuticals.

The president said the country's total biomedicine revenue in 2014 hit $8.3 billion and that 94 companies listed as a result of the spending. He added that the biomedicine sector should account for 14% of the country's GDP by 2020, according to the report.

Ma made his comments when he received the National Biotechnology and Medical Care Quality Awards winners at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. 

Map of Taiwan.  

The awards were created in 1998 and recognize researchers in Taiwan who have made serious contributions to the fields of biomedical product R&D and services.

The Taiwanese unit of Novartis ($NVS) won a gold award this year for its ruxolitinib treatment for myelofibrosis. It won the award for being completely developed in Taiwan and Ma said the government would continue to support such developments in the future.

Taiwan's president-elect, Tsai Ing-wen, who won office in January, is not scheduled to take up her post until May.

- here's the report from Taiwan Today