Fri, Mar 08, 2002 - Page 17 News List

Chen targets economic development

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Addressing economic issues, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) vowed to spend half of his time on improving the nation's economic development while addressing to a major industrial group yesterday.

"I promise to thoroughly implement the consensus reached at the Economic Development Advisory Conference (EDAC, 經發會) with out further delay," Chen said.

When attending a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (CNAIC, 工商協進會) yesterday at the Grand Hotel, Chen said his administration would prioritize economic issues and pursue inter-party reconciliation.

But Chen did demonstrate his sense of humor while receiving a crystal tiger sculpture from the association's Chairman Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松). "This is an exquisite work of art in the form of a tiger. The animal symbolizes vigor and vitality. There's no reason for us to turn pale at the mention of tigers," Chen said.

"Tigers" were how the nation's top cross-strait policy-maker Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) described the country's two largest contract chipmakers -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) -- earlier this week during a meeting with Taiwan Solidarity Union lawmakers.

Tsai reportedly told lawmakers that both TSMC and UMC are like two "tigers" that will not only swallow the "rabbits" (smaller semiconductor firms) in China, but will also bite the "rabbits" back in Taiwan.

Founded in 1952, CNAIC has recruited members from the country's leading industries including TSMC, Rebar Eastern Group (力霸東森集團), President Group (統一集團) and Formosa Plastic Corp (台塑).

"All CNAIC members have contributed immensely toward making Taiwan an economic miracle in Asia. CNAIC members represent 84 percent of the largest conglomerates in the country," Koo said.

Summarizing the association's contributions for the past 50 years, its honorary chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) said that it has helped foster domestic industrial development and foreign trade in accordance with national economic policy and represent the interests of the business community to the government. "It also played an important part in making Taiwan a newly industrialized country."

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