The Ministry of Finance hosted the prestigious "21st Golden Thumb Awards for Private Participation in Infrastructure Awards Presentation Ceremony" today at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC). Premier Chen Chien-jen of the Executive Yuan and Minister of Finance Chuang Tsui-yun graced the occasion with their presence, publicly acknowledging the contributions of 14 winning teams to public infrastructure. They also extended gratitude to the diligent panel of judges. The High Distinction Award for this year's Golden Thumb Award was secured by the Kaohsiung City Government's Water Resources Bureau for their landmark coastal water recycling and reuse project.
During his address, Premier Chen highlighted that the Golden Thumb Awards is now in its 21st year. Over the past two decades, numerous outstanding teams, akin to those present, have served as crucial catalysts for various domestic public infrastructure projects. Their substantial contributions have significantly bolstered Taiwan's economic growth. The High Distinction Award of this year's Golden Thumb Award goes to the Lin Hai Sewage Treatment and Reclaimed Water Plant BTO Project. It provides high-quality regenerated water for reuse, serving as a benchmark for government policy guiding private sector responses. Taiwanese high tech companies are also enthusiastic about using the relatively higher-cost reclaimed water to achieve ESG sustainability goals. Furthermore, other award-winning projects, including sewage recycling plants, waste incineration facilities, parking lots, student dormitories, and road maintenance, all directly impact the everyday life of the public. Moreover, Premier Chen expressed gratitude to the hardworking judges whose efforts resulted in selecting exemplary teams that serve as good models for PPIP. He also expressed hopes for continued investment in Taiwan's public infrastructure in the future.
During her address, Minister Chuang noted that over the past 21 years, the Golden Thumb Awards have recognized numerous exemplary PPIP projects, serving as benchmark examples that inspire more agencies to promote PPIP. This year, the results of public-private investment solicitation have steadily improved, with an expected private sector investment exceeding NT$200 billion, creating win-win results for the public, businesses, and the government. Furthermore, Minister Chuang elaborated that with significant amendments to the Act for Promotion of Private Participation in Infrastructure Projects at the end of last year, Taiwan has officially entered the era of PPIP 2.0, signaling a formal embrace of private sector involvement in public infrastructure development. Several institutional changes have been implemented to promote civil participation in public construction within Taiwan. This includes the incorporation of green energy and digital infrastructure into the scope of civil participation, amendments allowing the government's compensated acquisition of public services, thereby diversifying the models of civil participation. Additionally, a new mechanism for dispute mediation concerning civil participation fulfillment has been established. Since July, the Ministry of Finance has been formally accepting applications through the mediation committee. These institutional adjustments hold significant historical importance in driving domestic involvement in public construction. The legal framework for civil participation has been further enhanced, amplifying incentives for investment in public construction.
This year's Golden Thumb Awards showcased 14 outstanding projects, comprising 6 government team awards and 8 private team awards (detailed list in Attachments 1 to 3). During the awards presentation ceremony, apart from the enthusiastic presence of the winning teams, the event also saw the attendance of over 300 distinguished guests from various sectors, including legislator Lee Guei-Min, making for a lively and vibrant event. The Ministry of Finance also arranged for the sole recipient of the High Distinction Award, the Water Resources Bureau of the Kaohsiung City Government, to share its experiences in handling the Linhai Wastewater Treatment Plant and Reclaimed Water BTO Project. This initiative aims to pass on their award-winning experience, allowing more PPIP teams to learn and replicate successful experiences.
Press release contact: Section Chief Chen, Tzu-Wen