President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said Wednesday he was "shocked and disappointed" that construction of a national biotechnology research park in Taipei is a year behind schedule and will not be completed before the end of his term.
During a visit to Academia Sinica in Nangang District where the park is being built, Ma said biotechnology has been one of the major emerging industries promoted by his administration.
Ma said, however, he was "very shocked and disappointed" to learn a week or two ago that the project was a year behind schedule and would not be completed before he stepped down in May 2016.
Under normal circumstances, the president said, a NT$9 billion (US$274.5 million) national project would be subject to strict controls and management, and any problems that arose would be solved immediately.
"I thought the project was progressing smoothly, but it turns out that it's been delayed," Ma said.
He asked Academia Sinica and the project contractor RSEA Engineering Corp. to review the matter.
In response, they said construction work was affected by inclement weather in Nangang District and a spate of typhoons in August.
The RSEA said it will speed up construction but estimated that the project would not be completed before May 2017.
The government's promotion of biotechnology has borne fruit, as the sector's output has grown to NT$280 billion, according to Ma.
There are now 94 listed and over-the-counter biotechnology firms in Taiwan, he said, adding that private investment in biotechnology totaled NT$45.8 billion in 2014.