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  • President Ma meets MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Donald Lessard
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President Ma meets MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Donald Lessard. President Ma welcomes MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Donald Lessard. President Ma takes photo with MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Donald Lessard.
President Ma Ying-jeou met on the morning of February 23 with Dr. Donald R. Lessard, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The president and Professor Lessard exchanged opinions on a broad range of topics related to Taiwan's development of a green energy industry.

The president noted that Professor Lessard is one of the world's foremost experts on strategic management. Professor Lessard has an extremely strong reputation in the areas of emerging market multinational enterprises and global strategic management. The president stated that 21 years ago the Epoch Foundation was created here, in large part due to the efforts of Professor Paul Hsu (徐小波), and this organization opened a chapter of close cooperation between Taiwan and MIT. Professor Lessard also played a key role in this project. He has visited Taiwan many times, and is a keen observer of industry here.

President Ma stated that Taiwan's external trade last year reached a record-high US$589.9 billion, making Taiwan the world's 16th largest trading economy in 2011. In recent years, the joint efforts of the government and the private sector have helped to boost Taiwan's international competitiveness, and international research organizations have recognized this, he pointed out, noting that last year the World Economic Forum ranked Taiwan 13th in its Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, while Switzerland's IMD in its World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Taiwan as the world's sixth most competitive economy.

President Ma remarked that Taiwan relies on imports for 99% of its energy needs, and therefore urgently needs an energy policy that is tailored to its domestic situation. The government consequently has adopted an approach that focuses on ensuring nuclear safety, gradually reducing reliance on nuclear power, and creating a green power and low carbon environment to gradually become a nuclear-free country. President Ma stated that Taiwan will pursue energy policies based on the three main principles of "no power rationing, maintaining reasonable power prices, and fulfilling the nation's pledges to the international community to reduce carbon emissions." Among these, he said, renewable energy, especially in the form of solar power and wind power, are particularly feasible for Taiwan. Taiwan is planning to promote two flagship projects in this regard. One calls for solar panels to be installed that will generate power equivalent to the consumption of one million households. The other calls for 1,000 wind turbines to be erected along the shore and in areas just off the coast.

President Ma also explained that the Ministry of Economic Affairs has already introduced the Dawning Green-energy Industry Program and has chosen two industries for priority development: solar photovoltaic energy and LED lighting. Taiwan's semiconductor, photovoltaic energy, and IT industries have already established a strong foundation. Last year, the output of the solar photovoltaic power industry was valued at NT$195 billion, with 3 gigawatts of capacity installed. This surpassed Japan, putting Taiwan in second place worldwide in this field. Meanwhile, Taiwan's LED lighting industry had output of NT$184.6 billion, which made it the global leader in output. Taiwan's overall green energy industry output value stood at NT$410 billion, he added. In the future, if Taiwan is able to utilize its competitive strengths in green energy technology and take advantage of the opportunities throughout the world for new energy technology, Taiwan's green energy industry will enjoy unlimited developmental potential, the president stated.

President Ma remarked that the government's decision to include green energy as one of the "six major emerging industries" has borne much fruit. How to set forth strategies that will sufficiently promote the development of Taiwan's green energy technology and enable this sector to play an increasingly significant role in Taiwan's overall economic development is an important mission facing the government. He said he is confident that Professor Lessard will provide inspiration and enlightenment to the government and the industry on this visit.

Professor Lessard and Epoch Foundation Chairman Barry Lam (林百里) and President Paul Hsu were accompanied to the Presidential Office by Environmental Protection Administration Minister Stephen Shu-hung Shen (沈世宏) and Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hwang Jung-Chiou (黃重球) to meet President Ma. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Secretary-General Hu Wei-jen (胡為真).
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