Jiang Yi-huah: FEDZ is not just a prescription

Jiang Yi-huah: FEDZ is not just a prescription

Premier Jiang Yi-huah told an interviewer Sunday that the planned Free Economic Demonstration Zone (FEDZ) is not simply a prescription offered by the Executive Yuan to cure all of Taiwan’s economic ills. Jiang pointed out that the Ministry of Economic Affairs has other programs in place that are meant to help improve the quality of domestic products and boost the salaries of the public. Asked whether the zones will help to create new jobs, he could not offer a positive response, saying only that this is a problem the government is working on already.

Jiang noted that many of the events that have happened this year such as the death of Corporal Hung Chung-yau, problems with food safety and other issues, are not things the government was happy to see. He said the government is working full time to actively deal with these problems in as timely a manner as possible. He admitted that he had hoped that this year's economic performance would have been better, but after failing to maintain even 2% growth in the GPD he hoped that a thorough review of government economic and financial policy next year will "help us pull it up."

Jiang touched on a remark that people think that the government does not feel any empathy for the people. He noted that it hurts him when he sees things like tainted food oils and fraudulent food products in the market, and he does not like to see companies dumping pollution into rivers and streams. He added that he completely understands how people can be upset by stories like to hear such stories in the news. Unfortunately, he continued sometimes people respond in the wrong way or say the wrong thing when such problems arise, and the best thing to do is to act in accordance with regulations and strive to make the best of things

Jiang was asked about the free economic demonstration zone and data from CEPD in early December which showed that only eight companies had signed up to construct factories in the zone. Looking at that figure and the total amount of investment of NT$600 million, the moderator commented that the numbers seemed small and asked whether the results were a far stretch from the government’s hopes. Jiang responded that the moderator should have asked if the government wasn’t jumping the gun in taking in investment money. He said that the government already has commitments for NT$600 million even while they are still talking about the rules and regulations for the demonstration zone.

Jiang said the Executive Yuan's economic policy is not just a recipe, and the free economic demonstration zone is not the only solution that the Executive Yuan is proposing. Taiwan has many other ‘demonstration’ projects that are not located in a specific demonstration area. Jiang stressed that innovation and creativity can be found everywhere in Taiwan’s industries, and government agencies like the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the CEPD and NSC provide funding to help support development and incentives to encourage companies to convert innovative ideas into creative industries that will result in better products. He added that by improving quality and introducing innovation, Taiwan will remain a leader, manufacturers will get better prices for their products, and salaries will improve for the working population.

Jiang was asked what advice he could give to people who are pessimistic about the chance for new job opportunities opening up. He said he believes that the government is doing all that it can to deal with the problem, not only with the free economic demonstration zone, but also through innovation and transformation as well as education and training to shorten the gap between learning to application, and promoting industry-university cooperation. He said that once everything is in place, the general public will see that there will be jobs for the young after they graduate. He added they will find work that is relevant to what they learned in school and said that after the industrial transformation becomes a reality, salaries will improve. He finished by saying that he hoped to see that goal achieved within the coming year.

Updated : 2021-02-27 02:37 GMT+08:00