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May, 25, 2016

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Food giant to employ more local managers in Vietnam

TAIPEI -- Uni-President Enterprise Corp. (統一企業), one of Taiwan's largest food producers, has pledged to employ more local managers at its factories in Vietnam in the wake of anti-Chinese protests in mid-May that affected operations at one of its factories in the Southeast Asian country.

Uni-President Chairman Lo Chih-hsien (羅智先) told the press Tuesday that his conglomerate would make "adjustments" to its overseas investments in the future in a bid to bring about more impressive performance.

That includes accelerating plans to "localize" management at its operations in Southeast Asia, Lo said. "People must have more guts" to bring about changes, he said.

If Uni-President managers continue speaking only in Taiwanese during meetings in Vietnam, it could become a hazard for the company because it means that management is split off from the world outside the meeting chamber, Lo said, explaining the catalyst for launching this year's "big reform" in localizing management.

Uni-President owns five factories in Vietnam, with operations covering the production of animal feed, flour, instant noodles, dairy and beverages.

The plants employ a total of 1,500 workers, 1,000 of whom work at the business group's factory in the Song Than industrial zone in the southern province of Binh Duong — the center of May's violent protests.

Five percent of those 1,000 are managers from Taiwan, the company said, but that percentage is likely to drop as the company seeks to fill posts with locals.

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