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Department of Economic Development of Taipei City and Melbourne City Government of Australia Holding a Videoconference to Discuss COVID-19 Control and Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery Planning

Compared to the wild spread of COVID-19 in different countries around the world, the result of epidemic control in Taiwan has been outstanding. Therefore, through the invitation of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Melbourne, Australia, a videoconference was set up on Feb.1 between the Department of Economic Development of Taipei City and the Office of Economic Development and International Affairs and the relevant tourism, event organization, and creative city promotion divisions of Melbourne City Government to exchange ideas with regard to economic relief during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery planning.
During the conference, the Department of Economic Development of Taipei City first briefed the Australian side on “post-pandemic industrial transformation and innovation—Taipei City Government’s industrial policy and action plan”, listing the measures to be taken in three stages, namely epidemic control and emergency relief, economic recovery, and innovative industrial transformation. The measures were intended to help enterprises cope with the impact of the pandemic and face the new economic normal. At the time when the pandemic was the most severe, Taipei City Government came up with nine short-term relief measures: tax deferral, rent reduction, utility price reduction, preferential interest, subsidization, tax reduction, lease extension, lease suspension, and worker relief. After the pandemic eased up in the country, the city government started to work out revitalizing measures for enterprises that had been more seriously affected, such as wholesale and retail businesses, business districts, night markets, department stores and restaurants, hotels, and entertainment and cultural-creative businesses. These measures included helping businesses undergo digitization and transformation, consolidating business opportunities to develop markets, giving subsidies to encourage people to visit Taipei, and giving discounts for the use of government agency and school facilities, with the purpose of increasing business opportunities and stimulating businesses to innovate and transform. In light of the upcoming post-pandemic new economic normal, the Department of Economic Development, Department of Information and Tourism, Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Education, and five other departments of Taipei City Government worked together to organize industrial transformation forums to solicit opinions from scholars and specialists. In February this year, the post-pandemic Taipei City Industrial Transformation White Paper was released to provide the basis and direction of the city government’s further administration.
After the conference, Commissioner Lin Chung-chieh of the Department of Economic Development stated that, facing the pandemic, enterprises had to think outside the box to create economic value through digitization. By exchanging ideas with Melbourne, sharing the achievements of Taipei City Government’s revitalizing measures, and discussing each other’s post-pandemic economic recovery plans, he believes both cities will be able to promote their economic recovery policies smoothly in the future.