Northern Taiwan Development Commission (NTDC), which was composed of eight city or county governments in Northern Taiwan, held the 15th Leaders' Conference and Annual Achievement Presentation at Miaoli County Hall on October 26. The conference was attended by several officials from the local governments and representatives from the central government, including Yilan County Deputy Magistrate Yu Lian-sing, Keelung City Deputy Mayor Lin Yong-fa, New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Yeh Hui-ching, Taipei City Deputy Secretary-General Xue Chun-ming, Taoyuan City Deputy Mayor Yu Chien-hwa, Hsinchu County Secretary-General Cai Rong-guang, Hsinchu City Deputy Mayor Shen Hui-hong, Miaoli County Magistrate Hsu Yao-chang, and Director of Department of National Spatial Planning and Development, NDC, Kuo Fei-yu. The participants revealed and witnessed the fruitful results achieved by NTDC in 2018.
NTDC has been working for 15 years. This was the second time Miaoli County Government hosted the annual conference. To integrate multiple resources and facilitate the cooperation among the eight local governments, Miaoli County made two major changes. First, to enhance efficiency, the host city/ county should be responsible for calling meetings about the discussions of eight primary issues. Second, the development and application of unmanned vehicles was included in the discussions for the first time. It was hoped the regional development among local governments in Northern Taiwan could be fueled through the introduction of smart technologies.
Miaoli County Magistrate Hsu Yao-chang indicated that thanks to the joint effort by all participants, there were up to 45 cooperation proposals this years. The proposals relevant to unmanned vehicles include the establishment of an unmanned vehicle research platform, the formation of unmanned vehicle industrial communities, and the organization of competitions and camps regarding unmanned aerial vehicles.
This year, NTDC has achieved great success in carrying out various cooperation proposals. The industrial development group held Taipei Expo Farmer's Market 9 times, generating a revenue of nearly NT$27 million. Besides, the group integrated ceramic artifacts and tea to promote the tea culture of Northern Taiwan in an exhibition held in Taipei World Trade Center. The transportation group has been promoting electric buses and applied for a subsidy granted by Environmental Protection Administration on the rental service of Ubike for the first 30 minutes. In addition, the group has been trying to move scooter parking space out of arcades and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment. The disaster prevention and public security group held large-scale compound disaster drills to reinforce the mechanism of mutual assistance among the eight cities/ counties. The police stations in Northern Taiwan has also built up a network to ensure regional public security. The environment and resources group launched a series of beach and mountain cleanup activities and integrated different elements from the eight cities/ counties, such as flowers, fruits, tea, and fireflies, to promote tourism.
The culture and education group held joint art exhibitions featuring 43 artists, enabling the citizens in the eight cities/ counties to enjoy arts and performances of different places at a time. Besides, a learning program for grandparents and grandchildren was launched to encourage lifelong learning and fill the generation gap. The health and welfare group has integrated and shared multiple resources regarding mental health and the training of long-term caregivers, greatly enhance the efficacy and quality of health services. The recreation and tourism group perked up the tourism industry of Northern Taiwan through information exchange and joint promotion. The indigenous, Hakka and new inhabitants group held the Indigenous, Hakka and New Inhabitant Carnival & Ilisin Harvest Festival on September 22, 2018 to allow the public to know more about different cultures.
NTDC serves as a platform where participants are able to overcome difficulties and enhance the efficacy of regional government. In the future, it is hoped that more issues and problems, such as microbead pollution, dengue fever prevention, and the debatable free school lunch program, can be discussed and effectively dealt with. Through the regional cooperation, the eight city or county governments look forward to getting more budget and support from the central government for better public services, enhancing the overall competitiveness of Northern Taiwan.