Taiwan to tackle device industry R&D, training incentives

Taiwanese legislators say they're on the cusp of passing tax cuts and government subsidies to support medical device company R&D and training, something likely to help kickstart further industry growth there.

The Taipei Times reports the legislature will prepare a draft bill on the matter in its upcoming session with an eye toward aiding makers of high-risk medical devices in particular who are focused on local development and manufacturing. Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng told the news organization his peers agree such a bill should be passed and that they're focusing right now on hashing out the details.

Asia and other emerging markets remain the next big frontier for medical device multinationals, including Medtronic ($MDT), Boston Scientific ($BSX), Covidien ($COV), General Electric ($GE) and many others. How big? Taiwan medical device and equipment sales nearly hit the $3.42 billion mark in 2011 and jumped 7% higher in 2012. That level of growth is robust, to be sure, and Taiwan's leaders are doing everything they can to keep the positive trajectory going and maybe even accelerate it.

Outside of China and India, Taiwan offers enormous opportunities for companies seeking new markets, but also a sophisticated healthcare market in which to develop and make their products. Similarly, Taiwan wants to grow its own medical device manufacturing, and tax credits and subsidies will spur development of companies and technologies that can compete with the big guys in emerging markets and beyond.

The Taiwanese government launched an initiative in 2012 to nurture industry growth in kidney dialysis machinery, respiratory care equipment, in vitro diagnostic technology, microsurgery and high-end dental device tech. Tax cuts and subsidies to spur development of new products will help keep the growth engine running, and they may even accelerate how much it expands down the line.

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