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Ma aims to restructure local industries to boost economic revitalization

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The structure of Taiwan's local industries will be the first item on the government's agenda to boost the nation's economy, said President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday.

After declaring his determination to elevate the nation's economic status in his New Year's speech, Ma also noted that the government will strive to eliminate all obstacles that may affect Taiwan's trade and businesses. Ma made his remarks at the National Brand Yushan Award ceremony, also stressing that local brands should be promoted on a larger scale.

“All of us should work together. The suppliers ought to adjust their company structures, raise the quality of the merchandise and integrate creativity into the products. The government will try to sign Free Trade Agreements or economic pacts with Taiwan's main trade partners, hoping to rid our products of taxes or at least reduce the tax percentage when exporting to other nations,” said Ma.

“This (plan) is not simply one of the government's whims; Taiwan's competitors have already achieved the said goals and we are falling behind. How can we compete in any way? In order to become competitive and hope that others will lower export taxes, we will have to lower our own first. The benefit goes both ways.”

The president stated that he hopes that local industries will continue to persevere and grant the government a chance to cooperate with them to usher in a year of economic success.

Despite how the combined value of Taiwan's top 10 brands dropped 17 percent compared to 2013, Ma noted that the nation is already moving in the right direction and is making progress overall.

Using the iPhone as an example, Ma pointed out that both Taiwan and China had not truly profited although both were crucial in the manufacturing of the smart phones. “We should think of a way to raise our value: becoming a creativity-based economy instead of one fueled only by efficiency,” Ma added.

First Strategic Meeting Today

After announcing on New Year's Day that the government has formed a strategy team to devise international trade and finance blueprints, Ma said he will be hosting the first team meeting today.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will be briefing the president on plans to have Taiwan join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Also invited to the meeting are Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), MOEA Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) and other officials.

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