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Low wages harm competitiveness: Quanta

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's low average wage level shows that the country's overall competitiveness is not strong enough, Quanta Computer Inc. (廣達電腦). Chairman Barry Lam (林百里) said yesterday.

Recently, the low monthly salary of NT$22,000 (US$729) for a first job for local college graduates has been hotly debated in Taiwan.

Only if an enterprise has innovative values can it earn profits for its employees and shareholders and the low wage level is a reflection of weak competitiveness, Lam said in a press briefing.

The competition is getting more and more fierce, and survival is becoming more and more difficult, he said, adding that since the government already extracts so much tax from enterprises, it should offer stronger support for industries, Lam continued.

Quanta Computer Inc., the world's top contract laptop PC maker, reported earnings per share of NT$1.21 (US$0.04) for the first quarter of 2014 Tuesday, failing to meet the NT$1.3-NT$1.4 level expected by analysts.

Taiwan has a sound democracy, he went on, but the notion of society as a community and the co-development and co-creation of a better living environment should be promoted, he said.

Using South Korea as an example, he said there were quite a few Korean manufacturers making DRAMs and LCDs several years ago, but they were consolidated into two bigger conglomerates, which made them more competitive. This demonstrated both their innovation and the Korean government's ability to persuade and integrate, according to Lam.

Asked about his opinion of the highly controversial remarks by Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of Foxconn Electronics (富士康), that “democracy alone cannot feed you,” Lam did not directly rebut it. Democracy, freedom and equality are the basis of economy, he said.

The reason why the Soviet Union fell apart and transformed into a capitalistic system, he pointed out, is because the economy depends on democracy, freedom and equality and thus feed so many people, he said.

Sound economy, according to Lam, is based on well functioning democracy, freedom and equality, which indicate the most ideal state of a country.

Taiwan is a very peaceful society, and people should know where happiness comes from, he added.

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