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Taichung Harbor proposed as free trade area

Taichung Harbor proposed as free trade area

Local government heads in central Taiwan proposed Saturday that a free trade area be set up at Taichung Harbor in Taichung County to attract foreign investment.

The proposal was made at a regular meeting of the local heads in response to a request by a Japanese trading enterprise, Itochu Corp.,Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu disclosed.

Itochu Corp.'s representative in Taiwan had expressed the hope that a free trade zone could be established in central Taiwan to create a convenient investment hub, Hu said.

Itochu Corp. deals in products in various industries such as textiles, machinery, information and communications, metals, oil and other energy sources, general merchandise, chemicals, and provisions and food. It has 17 domestic and 139 overseas offices.

Hu said Itochu has invested heavily in China and that a free trade area in Taiwan would allow it to save logistics costs between China and Japan. The area would also create great business opportunities for central Taiwan, and thus benefit all three countries, Hu said.

He said the newly developed Central Taiwan Science Park and the weekend direct charter flight service between Taiwan and China that began in July are mainly what prompted Itochu to look at central Taiwan as a potential free trade area.

Lai Ying-hsi, director-general of Taichung County's Department of Construction, said the Taichung Harbor will be a good free-trade location, given its size and convenient marine transportation.

Investors can also utilize the air services at the Taichung
Airport which is near the port and is located within the county, Lai
said.

Changhua County Magistrate Cho Po-yuan said that many foreign
enterprises may hesitate to invest in a free trade zone, as the
current regulations stipulate that at least 5 percent of a foreign
company's workers must be aboriginal.

Cho suggested that the central government study the possibility
of revising this regulation in order to create an investment
environment that would be more favorable to foreign enterprises.


Updated : 2021-10-16 04:27 GMT+08:00