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President calls for private investment in 12 infrastructure projects

President calls for private investment in 12 infrastructure projects

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou urged domestic and foreign private enterprises Monday to invest in the 12 "i-Taiwan" infrastructure projects, saying that Taiwan's investment environment has improved as a result of better relations between Taipei and Beijing and Taiwan's recent accession to the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).
Ma made the remarks at the "Experience-sharing and Business Alliance for Promotion of Private Participation in Infrastructure Projects," which was attended by Premier Liu Chao-shiuan, Public Construction Commission (PCC) Minister Fan Liang-shiow and 400 representatives from local and foreign businesses.
The i-Taiwan 12 Projects include an aviation city development project centering around Taoyuan International Airport in northern Taiwan and several other infrastructure and urban renewal programs.
Noting that during his presidential campaign in November 2007 he proposed the i-Taiwan 12 Projects to improve Taiwan's investment environment, Ma said the approach is even more important now considering the impact of the global financial storm.
"In an era of recession, we must expand domestic demand and public construction," the president said, adding that the thawing relations between Taiwan and China and Taiwan's accession to the WTO's GPA are the keys to the success of such efforts.
Noting that according to the U.S.-based Business Environment Risk Intelligence, Taiwan's investment environment was rated the 5th best among the 50 countries evaluated, Ma attributed the ranking to the government's efforts to improve relations with China, which he said, has resulted in a significant reduction of investment risks and uncertainties.
Also with Taiwan's accession to the GPA earlier this month, Ma said, more foreign companies will be willing to work with local enterprises on major construction projects, which will be to the benefit of the government and the society.
Liu said Private participation in Infrastructure -- also known as Public Private Partnership (PPP) -- has become a global trend as governments worldwide seek to meet society's demands for high-quality and comprehensive public works. Monday's business alliance session was like the "kick off" in a ball game because there will be many more projects in the future for private investors, he added.
Fan said the global financial crisis and its impact on the overall economic environment have heightened the urgency of efforts to stimulate the economy, expand domestic demand, and strengthen economic fundamentals.
The government is therefore moving forward with the i-Taiwan 12 Projects, which aims to generate NT$3.99 trillion (US$121 billion) in new investment over an eight-year period, including NT$2.65 trillion via government procurement and NT$1.34 trillion via PPP, he added.
According to Fan, the PCC aims to attract NT$632.7 billion in PPP and it expected that 124 contracts with a total investment amount of NT$212.2 billion will be signed in 2009.
These contracts are mainly for the construction of transportation facilities and major facilities for tourist sites, major industrial and commercial facilities and cultural and educational facilities, as well as city renewal and sewage infrastructure, he added.
At Monday's event, contracts worth NT$13.9 billion were signed for projects that included the Taipei Mass Rapid Transportation Sangchung Station Joint Project, Miaoli Chunan Toufen Sewage System BOT Project, and Taichung Harbor Petro-chemical District Air Separation Plant Investment Project. The signing was witnessed by Ma, Liu and Fan.
(By Rachel Chan)




Updated : 2021-07-30 19:55 GMT+08:00