Taiwan R&D spend hit 3.02 percent of GDP

Taiwanese government says it has reached the targeted research and development proportion but still needs to catch up with neighboring countries, Japan and Korea.

The Taiwanese government has achieved its goal of clocking research and development (R&D) expenditure that accounts for 3 percent of its GDP (gross domestic product), but it says it still needs to catch up with neighboring countries Korea and Japan.

At the national science and technology conference, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou announced the island's R&D spending last year reached 3.02 percent of its GDP, reported China Times on Tuesday. During the 2008 elections, Ma's party promised to increase R&D spending to 3 percent of GDP by 2012, it noted.

However, he said Taiwan still needed to catch up with its neighboring countries in R&D spending. South Korea, for example, aims to have 5 percent of its GDP going toward R&D expenditure this year, while Japan's R&D spending has long crossed the 3 percent mark, Ma said. He added it is important to continue investing in R&D talent as Taiwan does not have natural resources and will need these talent to drive its economic development.

A report by the U.S. National Science Foundation said Taiwan's R&D spending was 2.45 percent of its GDP in 2003.