Business leaders moving to get bills through legislature
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Local industrial and business leaders are soliciting consensuses from the two sectors over how to ease the lingering row between the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan to make related economic and trade bills clear the legislative floor as soon as possible, Chang Ping-chao, chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China said on Saturday.
September 30, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
Chang said that leaders of major local industrial and business groups plan to visit the legislative caucuses of both the ruling and opposition parties, as well as the Executive Yuan after scoring consensuses in this regard.
Since the current legislative session opened on Sept. 17, Premier Jiang Yi-huah has been barred from delivering his administrative report at the legislature due to efforts by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, a side effect evolving from the alleged illegal lobbying scandal involving Speaker Wang Jin-pyng of the Legislative Yuan and DPP legislative whip Ker Chien-ming.
As a result, many important economics and finance bills have been deadlocked, causing grave concern among local business and industrial heavyweights. Chang, of the General Chamber of Commerce, said that leaders of major local business and industrial groups won't get involved in the politics, but their worry about Taiwan losing its competitiveness has prompted them to visit both the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan to express their concerns over having related economic and trade bills clear the legislative floor as soon as possible.
Chang stressed that local business and industrial groups are quite concerned about the screening or negotiation progress of the cross-strait trade in services agreement, the Taiwan-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, the Economic Partnership Agreement between Singapore and Taiwan, and the Cross-Strait Trade in Merchandises Agreement, as these agreements are vital to future operations of local industrial and business sectors.
Meanwhile, Lai Cheng-yi, chairman of the Taiwan Tourist Hotel Association, said that the average profit rates recorded by local industries reach only 3-5 percent as a result of strong competitive from major trade rival, South Korea. If South Korea signs a free trade agreement with mainland China, Taiwanese suppliers would suffer excess sharply, with most of exporters switched to Korean suppliers.
Lai stressed that liberalization is an important way for Taiwan industries to survive in the future, and the cross-strait trade in services agreement is the one that can accelerate Taiwan's market liberalization.
He continued that the government can impose higher taxes on profitable high-end service industries and help lower-end ones upgrade their operations, so as to make all the service industries benefit from the implementation of the said pact.