Located in south France, Toulouse Métropole is the home of the largest aircraft manufacturer in Europe Airbus Industrie, also known as the “Dreamland of Flying”. The city is also famed for its violet production, generating prosperous local economic development. Taichung City Mayor Chia-lung Lin and staff from the Taichung City Government visited Deputy Mayors of Toulouse Métropole Jean-Claude Dardelet and Bertrand Serp on the 19th to engage in in-depth exchange in areas such as aeronautics and smart cities. He also extended his invitation to the Deputy Mayors to attend the 2018 Taichung World Flora Expo and hoped that both cities can become sister cities in order to foster more cooperation opportunities.
Toulouse Métropole is located in southwestern France next to the Garonne River. The 4th largest city in France is also the base where the first regular flight in France took off. Mayor Lin and staff visited Deputy Mayors of Toulouse Métropole Jean-Claude Dardelet – who is in charge of international affairs - and Bertrand Serp – who is responsible for smart city development - on the 19th, where they exchanged experiences in agendas including aeronautics and smart cities.
Mayor Lin commended Toulouse Métropole’s thriving developments in technology industries such as IoT and driverless EV, as well as the city’s endeavors in promoting smart city. These experiences can be used by Taichung City in an effort to develop Shuinan Smart City. According to Mayor Lin, Toulouse Métropole is not only the “Dreamland of Flying” but also the home of Airbus Industrie, the most important objective of this visit is to foster a friendly relation between Taichung City and Toulouse Métropole, perhaps even become sister cities, so that collaborations in industry, tourism, culture and education can be conducted, in turn facilitating bilateral relations between Taiwan and France.
Mayor Lin suggested that Taichung is an important hub of smart manufacturing and the aeronautics industry in Taiwan, and the central government also intends to transform Taichung into a smart machinery capital. In particular, the population in Taichung is growing at a rate of 20,000 people every year, and it is soon to become the second largest metropolis in the country, therefore Taichung and Toulouse Métropole are remarkably similar in terms of population growth or developments in technology. Furthermore, since Taichung will be hosting the world flora expo next year, Mayor Lin welcomed Toulouse Métropole to participate in the exhibition.
According to Jean-Claude Dardelet, Deputy Mayor in charge of international relations in Toulouse Métropole, the local population is approximately 1.3 million and it is increasing at a rate of 23,000 people per annum; moreover, the city has a flourishing high-tech industry and numerous universities, making it a young, energetic metropolis.
Jean-Claude Dardelet pointed out that there are many R&D centers in Toulouse Métropole, including the headquarters of Airbus Industrie, thus nearly a quarter of aviation professionals in Europe reside in Toulouse Métropole. The City Hall of Toulouse Métropole is dedicated to promoting tourism and business development; €300 million have been invested to construct the world trade center, which is slated for inauguration in 2020, allowing the city to host more international exhibitions.
M. Bertrand Serp, Deputy Mayor responsible for smart city development commented that Toulouse Métropole is endowed with outstanding digital development technology, which has in turn created 40,000 jobs and facilitated the promotion of smart city. Application-wise, in addition to transportation, energy and elderly care, there is also public participation where citizens are invited to build the metropolis together through open resources and statistics. At the same time, Toulouse Métropole is also inviting businesses to invest in the city by offering enticing incentives and establishing venture capitals.
Both Deputy Mayors of Toulouse Métropole recognized that Taichung City and Toulouse Métropole share remarkable similarities in terms of developments in the aeronautics, digital industry and smart city development, and they also hoped to foster further exchange and cooperation between the two cities in the future.
According to the Economic Development Bureau of Taichung City Government, Taiwan has a strong aeronautic industry supply chain, particularly Taichung City, which is endowed with abundant experiences in processing, smart machinery, machine tools and key components, therefore it is hoped that this visit will strengthen Taichung City’s international ties in the smart machinery and aeronautics industry, in turn fostering international cooperation opportunities.