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Taipei starts selecting partner for 'Info Park'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei City Government will start screening on Thursday the qualifications of the bidders that have filed applications to operate the “Taipei Information Park” project under the BOT — build, operate, transfer — arrangement.

Officials declined to state the number of bidding enterprises or their names, but they said the winning bidder is scheduled to be announced in late April or May.

The “Taipei Information Park” project is a high-profile plan of Mayor Hau Lung-bin to invite a partner from the private sector to set up an ultramodern shopping center for 3C products — computers, communications and consumer electronic goods — plus other IT products and animation video products,

The new park will be built at the intersection of Section 3 of Civic Blvd and Jinshan North Road, adjacent to the Guanghua Digital Plaza on Bade Road in Taipei.

The winning bidder will build and run a building of 15 floors above ground and six more floors underground with a total floor space of 2,678 ping (one ping equals 36 square feet).

The company will have the right to operate the facilities for a period of 50 years and pay rental fees to the city government.

High-tech companies will open retailing outlets for the direct selling of products and will offer after-services to consumers.

Mayor Hau said the park will be Taiwan's Akihabara — a well-known district in Tokyo that has the world's largest concentration of shops selling the latest computer and electronic products.

He expressed his hope that the park will help strengthen Taipei's competitiveness when combining the resources of the city's industrial parks in Neihu and the computer software park in Nangang.

Other facilities in the park will include hotel rooms, business offices, and restaurants.

Companies that have expressed a keen interest in the new BOT project include the Hon Hai Group, the Clevo Group, Lemel, and Tsann Kuen and are interested in the manufacturing and retailing operations of information technology products.

Business giants like Cathy Life Insurance, Shin Kong Life, real estate development firms, and five-star hotels are believed to have also tendered bids.

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