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Tsai attends business forum

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen attended a forum Tuesday where she discussed economic issues with representatives of seven business associations.
Tsai is widely tipped to win the January 16 election, which would lead her to be faced with Taiwan’s dormant economy after she is sworn in on May 20. Kuomintang candidate Eric Liluan Chu, People First Party candidate James Soong and the three vice-presidential running mates were also invited to appear separately over three days.
Before attending the “Taiwan Economic Development Forum,” she rejected accusations from the Green Party-Social Democratic Party Alliance that her presence amounted to an “oral examination” with Big Business.
Tsai said she was coming to the event in order to listen to what major business associations had to say about future economic development, but in the end it would be the people of Taiwan who had the final say.
The business representatives wanted to discuss 13 topics, including the stabilization of the power supply in order to encourage more investment in Taiwan, sustainable human resources, promotion of further development in the services sector, speeding up regional economic integration and cutting the cost of labor, reports said.
Replying to questions from business leaders, Tsai said she favored the introduction of a time-based electricity fare system because it would help save energy.
While politicians and business leaders attended the forum inside a Taipei City hotel, activists outside shouted slogans for better labor rights.
Earlier Tuesday, the Green Party-Social Democratic Party Alliance called on all three presidential candidates to stay away from the event. They should listen to ordinary people instead and visit social-minded organizations instead of obeying the wishes of Big Business, the critics said.
None of the three candidates had taken a public stance on issues that interested the working class, such as the reduction of the number of official days off recently announced by the government, the critics said. They added that the widening gap between rich and poor in Taiwan could directly be blamed on 20 years of business leaders’ influence over politics. Direct presidential elections began in 1996.


Updated : 2021-09-21 12:54 GMT+08:00