TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) agreed that BioNTech vaccine doses should be flown in their original packaging directly to Taiwan as soon as possible, during a two-hour meeting Friday (June 18) afternoon.
Gou had taken the initiative to import 5 million doses of the German-made vaccine, but BioNTech’s insistence on dealing only with governments and a claim by China’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical that it held sole distribution rights for Taiwan threatened to derail his plan. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, had announced it wanted to import 5 million vaccine doses.
At a meeting requested by Gou, the president said she fully supported the bid for the vaccines and had told her administration to offer its full support, CNA reported. During the encounter, all parties agreed they wanted the delivery to take place as soon as possible, with the vaccine shots manufactured in the country of origin, packaged there, and flown straight to Taiwan for use in the government’s inoculation drive.
With the assistance of the German government, Taiwan will continue to purchase vaccines this year and after, Presidential Spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said at a news conference following the meeting.
The president’s talks with the two business leaders followed days of back-and-forth messages, often on Facebook, with Gou urging the government on, and the president rejecting allegations that it was not being active enough. During the June 12-14 Dragon Boat Festival holiday, Cabinet members and top officials talked to Gou to help with his efforts, Tsai said.