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  • President Ma meets foreign guests attending 2011 IDA Congress Taipei
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President Ma meets foreign guests attending 2011 IDA Congress Taipei. President Ma exchanges ideas with foreign guests attending 2011 IDA Congress Taipei.
President Ma Ying-jeou met on the afternoon of October 25 with a group of foreign visitors attending the 2011 International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress Taipei, which coincides with the Year of Design here, and extended a cordial welcome to the visitors from around the world on their arrival in Taiwan to take part in the activity.

The president remarked that the International Design Alliance was created in 2003 as a strategic venture between the world's international organizations representing industrial design, communication design, and interior architecture/design. Since then, the organization has worked on expanding its inclusivity. Taipei, the president stated, was selected from 19 cities in 13 different countries in a heated competition to win the right to hold this IDA Congress, which he further added, is the first IDA Congress ever.

The president noted that besides exhibitions, this activity also includes forums that will feature 130 speakers from 25 countries. Many of the world's leading designers from around the globe are taking part in this event, he said. The theme of the congress is "design at the edges ," and the program will focus on the following major topics: economic development, the Internet, biotechnology, urbanism, and international migration. These broad-ranging topics are clearly different from those associated with traditional design, he noted.

President Ma also mentioned that in the run-up to the congress, Taiwan held the 2011 Taipei World Design Expo starting from the end of September. This month-long event, which took place at the Songshan Cultural & Creative Park, the Nangang Exhibition Hall, and the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1, attracted 58 enterprises, 50 design studios, and representatives of design schools from 34 countries throughout the world, he pointed out, adding that over 6,000 articles from 1,200 designers were on display. In the field of culture and creativity, there has never been an event quite like it in Taiwan, he commented.

The president said that not long after he took office three-plus years ago in May 2008, Taiwan was hit by a global financial tsunami and economic recession. In response, the government targeted "innovation" to replace "efficiency" as the main force driving Taiwan's economic development, and in recent years many Taiwanese and their products have been singled out at international design exhibitions and invention fairs. This demonstrates that the international community has already recognized the impressive state of innovation here, he remarked.

Besides complimenting Taiwan for its achievements in the field of design, the visitors also called on designers from around the world to engage in greater interaction and share their experiences, thereby creating even more diverse and practical products.

The group was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Francis Kuo-hsin Liang (梁國新) to meet President Ma. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Advisor Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷).
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