The concept of OTOP (One Town One Product) is from the OVOP (One Village One Product) in Japan. OVOP Program is a community centered and demand driven regional economic development approach initiated by Oita prefecture. Since 1989, the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (Ministry of Economic Affairs, MOEA) has been pushing forward Taiwan OTOP (One Town One Product) program to assist the growth of local cultural industries. Other countries also inspired by OVOP develop establish their own OTOP program, such as Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, etc.
Taiwan OTOP is a guiding program aimed at promoting and developing local cultural industries. Based on the municipal units of township and city, products that are historic, cultural, or unique in the local communities are deemed as the local specialty products; therefore, the scope covered is broad and products including processed foods, living crafts, creative living products, rural leisure,creative gourmet, and festival events. Now, a total of 286 featured towns have been successfully coached as some famous examples, such as, Tachia Taro, Luku Hsiao-Pan-Tien and Chungliao Plant Dye, etc.
Through assisting local communities to develop specialty industries, the unique products or tourism and recreation services in each of the townships are upgraded from individual industrial producers and services into joint marketing strategic alliances and, through these alliances, Taiwan’s products are made available nationwide and even showcased in the international market. The Small and Medium Enterprise Administration of MOEA has also been actively developing management human resources for the local industries and promoting the program through the benchmark cases and experience-sharing programs. Resources and festivities of the local communities are also utilized to promote the local products and upgrade the business management abilities of the local small and medium enterprise through industrial opportunity matching and media promotion.
I will always remember the emotions I felt when overlooking Taiwan Island from the airplane; the green and square rice fields and the dark-blue, majestic and bending coastal lines. When the curtain of darkness falls, the households light up and sparkle with shining glory. You will always find the abundant cultural context and humanities and temperament in Taiwan whenever possible. In recent years, many local cultural industries are fighting to preserve and pass on the local culture of hometown through various methods. Their efforts and perseverance are turning Taiwan into an even more charming land.
To assist with local maintenance and develop the local cultural characteristics of all regions, in addition to expanding the economic activities of local industry and revitalizing the local economy, the Government has promoted various development programs for local cultural industries through different approaches and perspectives. The Government also collaborates with service teams, experts and scholar of local industries to actively provide counseling for industrial development. Among those, the OTOP on local cultural industry related program launched by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has solidified the overall development foundation.
OTOP program is implemented with techniques and integration of innovation that result in new products and services. Hence the added-value of local industry is increased which drives growth and development for local cultural industry. The Government even sees the soft power of Taiwan companies’ innovation and design by providing relevant counseling program that assists the industries to use their innovative aspiration and aesthetics to tell stories for the products and to add points for the brand, thereby to increase added-value for industries.
With the long-term counseling and cultivation from the SMEA, the local cultural industries gradually exhibit unique and refined new image, presenting both cultural and fashion taste that highlight the touching Taiwan OTOP style. We sincerely invite friends and foreign friends to experience in-person the local culture of the different places in Taiwan and to enjoy the inimitable beauty of Taiwan.
Rober Sun-Quae Lai Director General of Small and Medium Enterprise Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs