Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung was invited to the Chinese Leaders Foresight Summit (華人領袖遠見高峰會) held at Taipei on October 29. He shared his views on Taichung City's Dual Port Project (雙港計畫), indicating that Taichung Port and Chingchuankang Airport will become a pair of wings for economic development in Taichung and central Taiwan. “Together with smart Industry 4.0 and our unique urban culture, I hope to have goods exported from the dual ports, while passengers come in from the dual ports. Taichung becomes the core of central Taiwan, leading the regional economy to take off,” said Mayor Lin.
The Global View Monthly (遠見雜誌) has been holding the “foresight summit” once every year since 2003. This year’s forum was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (文華東方酒店). Charles Kao (高希均), Founder and Chairman of Commonwealth Publishing Group, pointed out that the axis of world economy has been rapidly shifting to Asia and it is a good time for Chinese entrepreneurs to show their talents. “That’s why we put focus the Chinese economic circle this year and invite experts to share their views on economic situation in this region,” said Kao.
Mayor Lin; Liu Yi-tung (劉育東), Chair Professor of Asia University; and Feng Xi (馮晞), Senior Vice President of Horizon Research (零點研究諮詢集團), were invited to the forum for "Building New Engines for the City (打造城市新引擎), which was presided over by Yang Ma-li (楊瑪利), Deputy Chairperson and editor in chief for Global View Monthly. Mayor Lin delivered a keynote speech on "Rise of Central Taiwan‧Overturn Taichung ─ Creation of Smart Greater Taichung" (中部崛起‧翻轉台中─打造創新智慧大台中).
Mayor Lin said that in its recent urban competitiveness survey for the next 10 years, the Academy of Social Sciences in China has listed Taichung as one of the top 10 cities, the only city from Taiwan. “It means Taichung is on the rise, and I must work very hard in the next 10 years,” added Mayor Lin.
Mayor Lin also noted that the central government has long paid attention to Taipei and Kaohsiung but forgot Taichung. "Under this ‘dual-core’ mentality paying attention only to the north and the south but neglecting central Taiwan, I must have a deep sense of mission to lead Taichung into prosperity in the next 10 years,” said Lin.
"In Taichung, we have Taichung Port and Chingchuankang Airport. To capitalize on this air and sea superiority, we have already formulated the ‘Dual Port Project,’ which aims to export goods from the dual ports and receive passengers from the dual ports. We have already signed a letter of intent with the Taiwan International Ports Corporation in June this year. It is hoped to build a pair of wings for the economic takeoff of central Taiwan. In the future, we will build the Light Rail and MRT systems to link up Taichung Port, Chingchuankang Airport, and the region including Wuqi, Qingshui, and Shalu. We hope to build the region into a sub-city core.
“For export of goods from the dual ports, we have six major industries, including machine tools, hand tools, machinery, photo-electrics, aerospace and bicycle. If you hold an exhibition in Taichung, you will gain the advantage of ‘having stores in front and factories behind’ and your clients will enjoy the benefit of ‘one stop viewing and one stop shopping.’
“Taichung is the most appropriate city to conduct the Industry 4.0 program, because we have a strong manufacturing cluster, where business firms enjoy industrial, technical, human, cultural and other advantages. We have initiated the country's first cooperation memorandum to develop mobile applications among the industries, the governments, and the universities. I have also suggested in the Executive Yuan meeting this morning that local governments be included in the platform to push any scientific and technological programs, so that local governments can play a substantial role to create a win-win situation,” Mayor Lin said.
With regard to the goal of attracting passengers to come in from the dual ports, Mayor Lin pointed out, “Chingchuankang Airport is strategically located. Within four hours, you can fly to many major cities in East Asia, including Beijing, Tokyo and Bangkok. We have recently added nine international destinations, including Seoul, Osaka, Oita, Nagasaki, and China’s Chengdu, Shenyang, Changzhou, Wuhan and Jieyang. The flights to the last two destinations will start on November 5 and December 3, respectively.
“In addition, we have launched a series of festivals, namely the Taichung Matsu Cultural Festival, the International Flora Festival, the Carp Cultural and Dragon Boat Festival, the Taichung Music Festival, and so forth. All of these shall help promote our culture and tourism in Taichung. Moreover, we have introduced such programs as ‘10 km free bus ride’, ‘end-to-end childcare’, ‘end-to-end daycare’, and the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, It is hoped to build Taichung into the capital of life in Taiwan.”
Liu Yi-tung, Chair Professor of Asia University, said, “City landscape is very important, and buildings are the most important elements of the city landscape. Mayor Lin told me a few days ago that he hoped to refurbish the underpasses by incorporating local cultural characteristics into them. What a great idea it is. Moreover, as a Taichung native, I feel very proud when people say that the Taichung Gateway District is equivalent to the Xinyi District in Taipei. In fact, after Taichung Gateway is constructed into a low-carbon, green, and smart demonstration zone in the near future, it will have even more local features than Xinyi District.”
Feng Xi, Senior Vice President of Horizon Research, said, “I have been to Taichung once. In my opinion, many cities in China can be viewed at a distance, and they are not for close-up examinations. However, Taichung looks even more beautiful when you observe it in a short distance. I am deeply impressed by its fashion, young look, and culture”
"We need to preserve the old while creating new faces for the city," Mayor Lin said. “Localization is the foundation for internationalization. Uniqueness is the way to the first place. In the past, urban development was mainly to copy other cities. Nowadays, culture is the soul of a city. We must first find out our culture and use it as a foundation to promote urban development and spur regional competitiveness. We will build Taichung into an economic and cultural hub for central Taiwan.
“A landmark is decided by its ‘depth’, not by its ‘height’. It is judged by whether local culture is integrated into daily life, not by how much its construction cost is. We have 3 landmarks from different eras, namely the Taichung Park Pavilion, the Luce Chapel, and the National Taichung Theater. They are here to connect Taichung with the past and the present. And in the future, we will construct the convention and exhibition center, the cinema center, and transfer stations in Taichung Gateway District. We will also deposition the Taiwan Tower, turning it into a building for such functions as disaster prevention, climatic observations, digitization, daily life activities, and so forth.”