Taiwan is committed to making the content industry one of its economic pillars by attracting international investment and talent to the self-governed island, says the agency responsible for industry development.

Ting Hsiao-Ching, chair of Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), says the agency has spent its first 18 months of existence building the framework and realigning existing resources to promote Taiwan’s content industry locally and abroad.

The next step will be boosting local production and building on the island’s advanced technology and successful emergence in the post-pandemic era, she says.

“The establishment of TAICCA is an important milestone for Taiwan. It is a gesture signaling to the world that Taiwan takes the content industry seriously and sees it as one of our economy’s pillars,” Ting told Variety.

TAICCA was set up in June 2019 as an independent agency by the Ministry of Culture and the cabinet (Executive Yuan), while serving as a one-stop shop for local and international industry players. Taiwan’s National Development Fund supports TAICCA initiatives to simulate investment.

Since then, Taiwan has boosted its presence at international festivals, markets and fairs. TAICCA puts multiple cultural and creative sectors together under a single content industry banner, in order to rebrand Taiwan, Ting says.

Ting says such a strategy is favorable to Taiwan’s situation. “The biggest difference between Taiwan and South Korea is that most industry players in Taiwan are individuals or small to medium-sized companies, while those in South Korea are mainly big conglomerates,” she says.

This kind of operation offers a great deal of strength and flexibility for Taiwan, she says, but the fragmented playing field needs support and coordination. This is also TAICCA’s role.

One indicator of success is the growth of overseas buyers attending the first edition of Taiwan Creative Content Fest (TCCF). The numbers are three times greater than last year’s Taipei International TV & Market Forum, one of three original events restructured to form TCCF. “Attention and interest in Taiwan content has never been so high,” Ting says.

The coronavirus pandemic has not only devastated the world economy, but also interrupted content production in many places. Taiwan’s success in containing the outbreak has opened up new opportunities for the island’s content industry, and production has been largely unaffected. Overseas lockdowns have boosted demand for content that can be consumed anywhere in the world.

Supporting the next generation of creators from home and and abroad will be key to further development. More young people want to get into the content industry, and more talent from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are choosing Taiwan as their base, Ting says. Taiwan’s freedom and democracy and the multicultural environment, which blends newcomers and indigenous people, are a fertile base for cultural creation, she adds.