TAIPEI: Surgeon-turned Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) proposed on Sunday that Taiwan should double down on exporting its medical expertise, rather than just ICT (information and communications technology).
At a forum held by Asia Pacific Chinese Medical Global Union, Ko said healthcare is an area where Taiwan can leverage its international clout, as it struggles to exert diplomatic recognition.
Ko said he had received two requests this month alone from the mayors of Philippine cities who wanted to learn more about the capital’s hospital management, reported UDN. The fact that the requests were channeled directly toward the city government rather than through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed international cooperation was more effective at municipal level, he suggested.
While Taiwan boasts a plethora of outstanding doctors, Ko reckoned the country’s medical systems, pharmaceutical management, and hospital administration are also impressive. Taiwan can become a major player in the field of medical affairs and leverage this expertise to foster closer ties with other countries, he added.
The politician, who earlier revealed his intentions to join the 2024 presidential race, also called for more government support and resources to market Taiwan’s biotech medicine. More needs to be done to unlock the economic potential of these related industries, Ko argued, lamenting that while Taiwan’s tech stocks have a combined market value of 45 percent, medicine-related shares have so far failed to attract the same level of enthusiasm from investors, wrote UDN.