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Premier announces NT$10 billion annual investment for SMEs

Premier announces NT$10 billion annual investment for SMEs

As part of his effort to revitalize Taiwan's economy, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday unveiled a project to set aside NT$10 billion annually to cooperate with private venture capital companies to invest in 1,000 small and medium enterprises in Taiwan.
Chang said he expects each company that has accepted NT$10 million in government investments to hire 20 more workers, adding that those investments, if realized, would create 20,000 more job opportunities for local workers.
The money will come mainly from the Executive Yuan's National Development Fund, Chang said while presiding over a ceremony to unveil the project at the downtown Taipei stadium of National Taiwan University.
Chang cited statistics to prove the important role that Taiwan's small and medium businesses have played in pushing Taiwan's economic development in the past. As of the end of 2006, there were 1.24 million small and medium enterprises in Taiwan, which account for 97.77 percent of the total number of Taiwan companies.
Those companies employed 7.75 million workers, or 76.66 percent of Taiwan's work force, he said, adding that their revenues in 2006 totaled NT$10,000 billion, or 29.84 percent of the total revenue of Taiwan's state-run and private enterprises as a whole, Chang said.
In 2006, Chang continued, the government also set aside NT$23.6 billion to finance various programs aimed at boosting the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises. Those funds were 50 percent more than those set aside for the previous year, he said.
Economics Minister Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) said his ministry has selected seven investment consulting firms to cooperate with venture capital companies in order to work out practical investment packages for the most effective use of those funds.
The government's investment in those packages, which amounts to NT$10 billion a year, is expected to attract NT$50 billion in investments from the private sector, Chen said.
Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥), chairwoman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, cited the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. and Acer Group as two successful examples for such investments. Those companies would not have become Taiwan's electronic giants if they did not accept the government's investments and technical assistance in the past, she said.
The chairwoman also introduced other measures the CEPD will take to help small and medium enterprises, including coordinating with local banks on giving loans, helping those companies improve their research and development abilities, providing those companies with state-of-the-art production technology, and offering marketing information to help them expand their domestic and overseas markets.