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Ma solicits support from business leaders

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou and Vice President-elect Vincent Siew paid a visit to business leaders Monday as part of their campaign to solicit views from leading enterprises on charting Taiwan's future course.
Ma paid visits to Hon Hai Group leader Terry Gou and Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) founder Wang Yung-ching in the afternoon and then had dinner with them, as well as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) Chairman Morris Chang and Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI) Chairman Chen Wu-hsiung.
"Between now and the inauguration on May 20, I hope to make good use of the time to learn more about the problems and expectations of businesses," Ma said.
He pledged to adopt a more pragmatic policy, more liberalized cross-strait trade and economic relations, and better cooperation between government and private sectors to make Taiwan a design and innovation center.
He also said he hoped to see Taiwan turn into the linchpin of Asian and Pacific trade and the business headquarters of Taiwanese businesses.
Ma earlier promised that FPG's Mailiao harbor in western Taiwan will serve as a port for direct cross-strait shipping links and that Anping Harbor in Tainan could also be included as a direct cross-strait shipping port to give local businesses better access to sources of raw materials and markets.
"This will not only benefit industrial production, but will also help agricultural product exports to China," Ma continued.
Asked if he needed any assistance in setting up a steel plant or naphtha cracker complex in China, Wang said there was no need to go to China now.
FPG officials said Wang meant that if direct cross-strait transportation links are established, there will be room for development on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, meaning there is no longer an urgent need to invest in China.
Hon Hai's Gou said that Ma knows he has made software investments in India and Nanjing, China, and indicated the president-elect urged him to invest in a software industrial park in Kaohsiung.
Noting that Ma asked him "to take action before the May 20 inauguration, Gou said that he would be happy to comply with Ma's wishes.
Kaohsiung has the potential to become the creative center of digital content in Asia, as the city has quick access to world information, Gou said.
The Hon Hai head also said that some of the products in his Vietnamese plants are currently shipped to the United States through Singapore or Hong Kong, and he disclosed that he would also take Ma's advice to tranship it via Kaohsiung to help balance development between northern and southern Taiwan.
CNFI head Chen suggested to Ma that clear guidelines should be set up for environmental assessment studies so that if businesses were willing to abide by the rules, "environmental concerns would not hinder economic development."
Chen also called for a leaner government, improvement of the investment environment, tax cuts, and reasonable conditions for Chinese capital coming to Taiwan.
He said he was sure that under those circumstances, many Taiwanese businesses would be willing to return to Taiwan.

Updated : 2021-10-26 21:05 GMT+08:00