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Gov't to hold workshops for Taiwanese firms in Vietnam

TAIPEI -- A Taiwanese government delegation set to visit Taiwanese businesses that suffered damage during anti-China riots in Vietnam last week to help them get back on their feet will hold three workshops during its four-day stay there, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

The delegation, to be headed by Vice Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin, will set off Wednesday for southern Vietnam, where the worst damage to Taiwan-invested businesses was reported.

The tour will take the group of 24 officials from authorities including the MOEA's Department of Investment Services, the National Treasury Administration and the Taxation Administration to four industrial zones in the Southeast Asian country's Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces.

The workshops will be used to explain what Taipei has done in its response to the violence against the Taiwanese businesses during the rioting and what it has planned to assist the damaged factories to restart their operations, Shen said at a press conference Tuesday.

Issues concerning insurance compensation, tax deductions for disaster-caused losses and efforts to demand the Vietnamese government to cut tariffs on machinery and equipment imports will also be topics of the workshops, Shen added.

As for the issue of seeking compensation from Hanoi, Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said at the press conference that the government is still working on the matter, as well as the issue of which Vietnamese officials the delegation will visit. He declined to elaborate.

In 1993, Taiwan signed an investment protection agreement with Vietnam, based on which Taipei will ask Hanoi to compensate the losses Taiwanese businesses sustained in last week's violence, the MOEA said.

A total of 224 Taiwanese companies have reported damage during the anti-China riots, with 18 factories set on fire, five of which were completely destroyed, according to MOEA data.

Operations at around 100 Taiwanese enterprises in Vietnam have been suspended, the ministry said.

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