The US-Taiwan Business Council chairman, former US defense secretary William Cohen, has put off a long-planned visit to Taipei in view of the raging SARS epidemic, council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers said Thursday. \nCohen's visit, originally planned for the end of the month, has been postponed until "later in the year," Hammond-Chambers said. \nThe visit would have been the first for Cohen since he was named chairman of the council last year. \nThe cancelation is the latest sign of the depth of the impact of SARS on Taiwan's relations with the US and the rest of the world. \n "Everybody is cancelling their trips," Hammond-Chambers said, referring both to his members and other US businesspeople. \nThe council itself issued a warning to its members cautioning them against travel to Taiwan on May 2, a day after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta issued a travel advisory. "The US-Taiwan Business Council urges our members traveling to Taiwan and to Asia to familiarize themselves with SARS and to take appropriate steps to protect their health," the notice said. It noted that the CDC had advised people planning "elective or nonessential" travel to Taiwan to think about postponing the trip. \nCohen had been scheduled to lead a Business Council trip to Taipei on May 26-28, before heading on to Singapore for an Asian Security Conference being held by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. \nThat conference, called the "Shangri-La Dialogue" because it is held in the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, brings together hundreds of defense secretaries, former secretaries, US congress members and other regional legislators to discuss Asian regional security issues. \nUS Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is scheduled to attend, and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger is slated to give the opening address. \nThat meeting, which will be held May 30 to June 1, is still on. \nThe US-Taiwan Business Council's Taiwan trip was to focus on technology integration and business integration between the US, Taiwan and China. Cohen and the delegation were also expecting to meet with President Chen Shui-bian and other government leaders. \nThose meetings, and meetings with Taiwan's business leaders, were to deal mainly with such issues as intellectual property rights, agriculture, defense and security, according to Hammond-Chambers.The trip will be rescheduled later, in conjunction with other regional travel, he said.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
A two-hour drive south of Amsterdam in Veldhoven, workers decked out head-to-toe in protective gear toil in vast assembly halls. Before entering the inner sanctuary of the facilities, they meticulously layer on masks, gloves and special socks. A single speck of dust or a hair can have devastating effects on production. The result of all this painstaking process is an environment that is 10,000 times more purified than outside. As COVID-19 grips the world, it might just be the safest place to work right now. The teams belong to ASML Holding NV, which holds a de facto monopoly on the industry of
DBS Bank Ltd yesterday hacked its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan this year to 0.9 percent, down from its estimate of 2.3 percent two months earlier, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing financial market volatility. The bank’s latest forecast was even lower than London-based IHS Markit Ltd’s estimate of 1 percent, while other research institutes’ projections range from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent. Taiwan’s economic momentum is being negatively affected by the pandemic, DBS said. The rapid spread of the disease from Asia to Europe and the US has dampened the bank’s previous expectation of a “V-shaped” global rebound in the
DOWNSIDE RISKS: Firms have a ‘very low’ chance of boosting investment returns in the next two years, making it hard for them to improve their capitalization, an analyst said Taiwanese life insurers wanting to improve their capital structure face strong headwinds this year, given prolonged low interest rates and economic impacts derived from trade protectionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) said on Friday. The local life insurance sector also still has high asset risks and such risks are susceptible to market volatility, the local arm of Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said. Since last year, major financial holding companies — including CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) — have announced plans to raise fresh capital to