Premier's report focuses on economy
CNATAIPEI--Premier Jiang Yi-huah was blocked from reporting to the Legislature on Tuesday, but he would have focused on revitalizing Taiwan's stubbornly stagnant economy had he been given the chance.
September 18, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
The administrative report covers six areas: economic vitality and employment, construction and regional development, social order and harmony, a sustainable environment, talent cultivation, and cross-Taiwan Strait ties and other external relations.
Most of the report is devoted to rekindling Taiwan's economic growth amid a prolonged global slowdown, and it stresses “liberalization” and “innovation” as the key strategies to achieve the goal.
The report advocates reforms to improve the country's economic structure by making it more flexible and linking it to the world, and it cites free trade agreements and “free economic demonstration zones” around Taiwan as the main tools to promote the reforms.
The administration will also assist talented individuals and companies in transforming creative ideas into products or industries with high-added value, the report pledges.
To support the technological upgrading of domestic industries, the government plans to invest NT$12 billion (US$405 million) over the next four years in projects aimed at helping develop and transform technology-centered industries “from the top down,” according to the report.
Businesses related to electronic commerce, 5G communication technology and green energy are among those that will be eligible for assistance, the report says.
The controversial fourth nuclear power plant is also addressed, with the government reiterating its guiding principles as “not launching electricity rationing, maintaining reasonable electricity rates, and attaining international carbon-cut commitments.”
The report says the government will carry out energy-saving and carbon-reduction measures and move to stabilize Taiwan's electricity supply to help the country gradually break its dependence on nuclear energy and eventually build a nuclear-free homeland.
The report also touches on a cross-strait services trade agreement, which was signed in June but triggered strong opposition in Taiwan.
Critics fear the deal could threaten the survival of small and medium-sized enterprises in Taiwan once it is opened to deep pocketed Chinese investors.
Calling the accord a symbol of comprehensive trade and economic cooperation between the two sides across the strait, the report says the pact will help Taiwanese enterprises get a share of the Chinese market, increase their exports to the mainland or remit profits they earn in China back to Taiwan.
The cross-strait accord will also encourage other countries in the region to sign economic cooperation agreements with Taiwan, as seen when Taiwan and New Zealand signed an economic cooperation accord on July 10, the report said.
Jiang was blocked by opposition lawmakers from delivering his routine administrative report at the opening of the Legislative Yuan's fall session.
Lawmakers accused him of improperly meddling in the lawmaking body's affairs, referring to controversial remarks he made last week as the ruling Kuomintang tried to revoke Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin pyng's membership over influence peddling allegations.
The loss of party membership would have disqualified Wang from serving as a legislator and forced him out of his position as speaker.
According to convention, Taiwan's premier gives the report on the opening day of a new legislative session, but the opposition staged protests and demanded that Jiang apologize for his comments and resign.