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Cabinet OKs plan to spur investment

Cabinet OKs plan to spur investment

The Cabinet yesterday approved a new package of plans to promote Taiwan's industrial development through 2015 and to improve the country's investment climate with measures to ease access to land, labor and finance and streamline approval of environmental impact assessments.
Speaking during the weekly meeting of the Democratic Progressive Party led Cabinet, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) expressed gratitude that realization of these plans would require all-out cooperation from every ministry and agency.
The issuance of the industrial development package and an implementation plan for "The Creation of an Excellent Investment Environment" follows Cabinet approval of related plans for social welfare and financial development under the framework of the "Economic Development Vision for 2015."
Minister without Portfolio Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) told The Taiwan News that the new plans "are built on the foundations, but are vastly different from previous programs," such as the "Challenge 2008" six-year national development plan issued in 2002.
Ho said that the new program incorporates the development of industries which had not yet emerged in 2002, such as wireless broadband Internet equipment and services.
Moreover, Ho stated that "Challenge 2008" focused mostly on "hardware" programs and targets, but the new plans "include many programs that are entirely institutional, such as new systems to help companies acquire land, labor, finance and other supply systems."
Five major components
Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Ho related that the plan to improve the investment environment, which went into immediate effect, had five major components to boost investment and promote industrial upgrading, covering the core factors of land, labor, finance, administrative efficiency and investment promotion mechanisms.
Regarding the question of land, Ho related that the new plans offer easier access to state-owned land for major investments or expansions to help local governments attract new capital and will also offer a 10-year tax holiday and reduction package.
Besides simplifying procedures to apply to purchase land from the state-owned Taiwan Sugar Corporation, Ho said the government will extend its "006688" program for rent reduction of factory space in industrial zones, which offers "zero" rent for the first two years, 60 percent of the set rate for the second two years and 80 percent for the third and fourth year, through December 2008.
These measures should open 350 hectares and help attract 500 factories with investments of NT$175 billion that will create an annual industrial output of NT$210 billion and generate 35,000 jobs, Ho said.
Second, Ho said that the government "will help firms secure more workers first by cooperating with the Council for Labor Affairs to assist companies in improving their working environment, enhance safety and sanitation in order to increase the employment interest of domestic workers."
Moreover, Ho related that the government would "review" the foreign labor policy to set up a "dynamic foreign labor management system" and allow companies to apply for a larger imported labor quota for physically-trying labor or 24-hour shifts.
Third, the government will expand capital raising channels for businesses by hiking the small-business loan-guarantee fund to NT$1 trillion, which will help small and medium companies gain access to up to NT$1.6 trillion in financing and by allocating NT$20 billion from the National Development Fund for up to 20 percent matching investment in traditional industries not listed as "strategic" or "rising" industries and thus generate NT$100 billion in new investments.
Fourth, Ho related that the new plans also require the government to bolster Fourth, Ho related that the new plans also require the government to bolster "policy environmental impact assessment" to assist ministries and other official agencies engage in advance dialogue with citizens on major policies to reduce misunderstandings and possible disputes and also reduce the "unpredictability" of environmental impact assessments (EIA).
Moreover, the Environmental Protection Administration will be responsible for streamlining and enhancing the professionalism of the EIA review process.
According to Ho, the fifth pillar of the new program will be the establishment of effective mechanisms for efforts by central and local government to attract investors and deal effectively with problems, especially those faced by "major investment projects."
Under the new program, the Ministry for Economic Affairs will set up reporting mechanisms for the promotion of investment to be convened by a deputy economic minister together with the deputy mayors of Taiwan's city and county governments.
The new channel will help local governments to draft their industrial development goals and strategies, create a favorable environment to attract investment and provide comprehensive "one - window" problem-solving service to investors.
The state minister reported that the flagship plan to "create a new vista for industry" will feature wide-ranging efforts to promote "new emerging industries," spur the "industrial upgrading and transformation" of agriculture, manufacturing and services and promote "industrial balanced development" by assisting the upgrading of "disadvantaged" sectors and small businesses.
First, Ho related that the industry flagship plan will promote the development of a new set of "emerging industries," namely wireless Internet broadband equipment and related services, "digital life" industries and services such as "digital home" intelligent equipment, health care services such as senior citizen care systems and medical equipment and services, and "green" industries such as renewable energies, solar photovoltaics, clean production and energy conservation equipment and services.
The new flagship plan also specifies a range of measures to promote upgrading of agriculture by promoting more effective marketing, encouraging young entrepreneurs to return to rural areas and promote a shift in emphasis from "the farm" to "the dinner table" through promotion the production and supply of higher quality "safe and sound" agricultural products.
According to the plan, agricultural, forestry, fishery and husbandry output would rise from NT$382.4 billion last year to NT$413.9 billion in 2009, agricultural employment will decline from 591,000 to 555,000 and agricultural labor productivity will rise from NT$64,700 a person to NT$74,200 a person while the nominal agricultural gross domestic product will rise from NT$189.8 billion to NT$213.6 billion by 2009.
Upgrading efforts in manufacturing will promote a shift in priorities from "cutting costs" to stress the enhancement of "value chains," shift from outsourcing or "original equipment manufacturing" to the provision of brand-name high-quality goods and production equipment and integrated value added creation, shift from "supply oriented" service to "user oriented" integrated service or "total solution provider" business models and the provision of energy-saving techniques and products.
According to the plan, Taiwan's manufacturing output value will rise from NT$11.7 trillion in 2005 to NT$14.0 trillion by 2009, manufacturing productivity will rise from NT$980,000 per worker to NT$1.24 million per worker by 2009 and nominal manufacturing GDP will rise from NT$2.4 trillion to NT$3.0 trillion by 2009.
Efforts to upgrade value added, higher quality and employment creation in services will similarly help lift the nominal GDP value of the service sector from NT$8.2 trillion last year to NT$10.3 trillion in 2009, expand service employment from 5.79 million to 6.33 million and boost service labor productivity from NT$1.41 million to NT$1.63 million by 2009.


Updated : 2021-04-17 11:30 GMT+08:00