Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said at an inter-agency meeting on Nov. 12 that the government endorses the publishing industry stimulus policy proposed by the Ministry of Culture, and he also instructed related government bodies to support the endeavors aimed to boost the sector.
According to a statement released by the Executive Yuan, Premier Su presided over the inter-agency meeting on cultural affairs and made comments on stimulus measures to spur the publishing industry, including the issuance of "Arts FUN Go" vouchers and the Public Lending Right (PLR) scheme.
The Premier said he supports the revitalization policy proposed by the Ministry, noting that the government should offer assistance to help publishing industry adapt to the changes in reading habits over time and to the shifting supply-demand of book market.
Stressing the effectiveness of issuing the "Arts FUN Go" vouchers, Su pointed out that the issuance of "Arts FUN Go" vouchers has spurred cultural and arts consumption, with the amount reaching NT$920 million, of which more than 60 percent, or NT$520 million, was spent on books and publications.
To further rejuvenate the publishing industry, Su said there is a need to introduce an approach that will benefit both publishers and writers. For example, Su said, the ongoing implementation of Public Lending Right (PLR) scheme is practical. He also expressed support for forthcoming exemption of sales tax for the sector of book business, since it does not require amendments to existing law.
The PLR scheme, which is on a three-year trial basis from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022, enables authors and publishers to be subsidized when their books are loaned out for free at the National Taiwan Library in New Taipei City and the National Library of Public Information in Taichung, the Premier said.
In addition to boosting the nation's publishing sector, the Premier said Taiwan should use the advantages of its safe and stable social environment and frequent artistic exchanges to become an art trading hub, referring to a report on strategies to make Taiwan an Asian art auction center.
Citing the tremendous transaction of Hong Kong's art trading market, which is more than 20 times of the market scale in Taiwan, Premier Su pointed out that Hong Kong as an art auction hub is confronting political turbulences and he suggested that Taiwan’s art trading market should seize the opportunity with considerable flexibility and strive for more international exposure and a status in art trading market replacing Hong Kong.
Photo courtesy of ©Executive Yuan