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Event marks finance sector inclusion in FEPZs

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Regulators and industry representatives yesterday staged an opening ceremony marking the commencement of financial services operations in the Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZ) program.

During his address Tseng Ming-chung, chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission (金管會), stated that the inclusion of the financial sector will tremendously enhance the FEPZ program. Most notably, the move is expected to create over 20,000 new jobs this year across the financial services industry, and bring in an additional NT$140 billion in revenues for banks and securities brokerage firms over the next five years. The program will also aid in expanding Taiwan's capital market by attracting foreign investors and clients while fostering the development of the local talent pool and deterring brain drain.

According to Tseng, the FEPZ is the government's most pivotal economic stimulus policy. The inclusion of the financial services sector in the program is based on the strategic direction of initiating large-scale easing of regulatory limits under the government's guidance of a controlled experimental trial.

Expanded approvals for financial institutions granted the offshore banking unit (OBU) status and offshore security unit (OSU) status operating in the FEPZ include the lifting of restrictions on trust financial products, the buying and selling of fixed income securities for brokerage firms, expedited application process on foreign exchange operations, and the lifting of derivative instrument investments for all clients acting in the capacity as an individual or a professional, said Tseng.

Lee Sush-der (李述德), chairman of the Taiwan Stock Exchange and the Taiwan Financial Services Roundtable Co. (台灣金融服務業聯合總會), remarked that the inclusion of the financial services industries will greatly enhance the FEPZs' development throughout various locations spanning across six ports, one airport and an agricultural biotechnology park, as they play an integral role in facilitating the growth across all industries.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah stated that as the landscape of the global economy evolves toward the formation of regional trade blocs, the FEPZs, with their deregulation, are the prime proving grounds as Taiwan strives toward the establishment of more open markets.

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Premier Jian Yi-huah, third right, Lee Sush-der (李述德) and a number regulatory and governing body officials give a tumbs-up at a ceremony marking the inclusion of the financial services sector in the Free Economic Pilot Zone program in Taipei, yesterday. (CNA)

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