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Government to award NT$142 billion in infrastructure contracts in '14: Jiang

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government plans to award an estimated NT$142.4 billion (US$4.77 billion) in contracts for infrastructure projects, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said Thursday, encouraging agencies to facilitate private participation in public projects.

According to a report by the Ministry of Finance, seven projects worth NT$20.5 billion have already been put out to tender this year.

Following the report, Jiang said that the NT$77.4 billion awarded to private businesses for public projects in 2013 was a significant contribution to Taiwan's economy.

He did, however, note that a number of large-scale projects stalled in the bidding process, expressing concern over the decrease in actual spending from a year earlier and instructing relevant bodies to keep tabs on projects under their charge and to remove barriers in order to boost investment.

Strengthening infrastructure investment is a major goal for this year, Jiang said, pointing to President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) New Year's Day address in which the president emphasized the importance of public investment.

He instructed financial agencies to promote public projects attractive to investors from the life insurance industry, as soliciting investment from insurance companies is one of the Executive Yuan's major goals.

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