Tue, Jul 15, 2003 - Page 11 News List

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STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

SMEs more profitable

The nation's top 100 small-sized and medium-sized businesses are more profit-making than the nation's top 100 manufacturers, a survey conducted by the Commonwealth magazine (天下雜誌) found yesterday.

The nation's top 100 small-sized and medium-sized businesses, on average, are expected to have a return rate of 14.2 percent this year -- a figure higher than the estimated return rate of 2.8 percent by the top 100 manufacturers, the magazine - -- to be published today - -- said in its July edition.

Among them, profitability of the top 10 small-sized and medium-sized businesses is even higher to hit 16.6 percent, the magazine added.

"A new industrial trend can be observed is that the nation's service sector is fast-growing to meet local demand," the magazine said, adding that ten local cable TV operators made into this year's top 100 list for the first time.

Conference is popular

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday in a statement that up to date, 110 local and international companies have consented to attend the "2003 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference" later this year.

The investment conference to be held in October at the Taipei International Convention Center, is aiming to attract foreign investment, the ministry said.

The ministry which pegged an annual target to woo NT$100 billion foreign investment this year, has so far secured NT$37.5 billion on 56 foreign investment projects. It is eyeing another 81 foreign investment projects worth of NT$96.2 billion in the second half of the year, the statement said.

Taiwan Salt to list on TAIEX

The Taiwan Salt Industrial Corp (Taisalt, 台鹽) announced yesterday that it hopes to list in the local stock market by September, saying 60 percent its stocks will be released at the time, company chairman Cheng Pao-ching (鄭寶清) said at a press conference celebrating the franchise of 50 retail stores.

Taisalt, a state-run company with capital of NT$2.5 billion, has gained the approval of Securities and Futures Commission to list on the TAIEX. It is now waiting for the Ministry of Economic Affairs to ratify it share price, Cheng said.

The company has been putting efforts on developing biochemical products, such as various skin-care products that bring NT$300 million in annual revenues. The new 50 franchise outlets is expected to generate another NT$120 million in revenues each year, Cheng said.

Tourist benefits raised

Beginning Oct. 1, foreign tourists who visit Taiwan will be offered duty-free and tax rebate privileges under a government-designed tourism promotion plan, according to officials at the Executive Yuan's Tourism Development and Promotion Committee Monday.

The committee held a meeting in Hualien, aimed at revving up the domestic tourism industry, which has been a tailspin over the past several years as a result of a spate of natural as well as health disasters.

The meeting also concluded that the government will finance the development of a cable-car line up Mount Mugua on the banks of Liyu Lake in Hualien County. Cable-cars and related facilities will be built from a point on Mount Mugua 892 meters above sea level to the top of the 2,400-meter high mountain, which is located in the northern part of the long coastal county.

NT dollar gains

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.024 to close at NT$34.376 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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