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New economics minister says needs time to prepare

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Minister of Economic Affairs-designate Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) said he needs one to two months to understand the inner workings of the ministry before he can provide input on future policies.

Chang, who currently serves as the China Airlines (中華航空) chairman, was tapped to head the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on Sunday, the same day the Cabinet announced the appointment of Minister without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) as the head of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD).

Chang said although he believed there are better candidates from within the ministry, since the central government has picked him for the job he will be trying his best to do the job well. At the same time he said he is also under sizable stress with the new role.

Chang said the responsibility of the MOEA is wide and requires reliability. He said it may take one to two months for him to get familiar with the ministry's responsibilities. He explained that the government has a great team in the research and execution of economics-related issues, Chang said.

The new Cabinet said Chang had rich work experience both in the private and government sectors. Before serving as the China Airlines chairman, he worked as vice minister of transportation and communications and chaired state-owned businesses, including China Steel Corp. and Chunghwa Post Co., Ltd., the Cabinet said. It added that Chang was a professor at National Chiao Tung University, and noted that his academic background would be beneficial.

 The Executive Yuan said that the central government has been highly interested in recruiting CEOs from the private sectors to join in the Cabinet.

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