Fri, Jan 27, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Investment
Taiwan ranked joint fifth

Taiwan tied with Norway as the world's fifth best country for foreign investment, according to a recent report by the US-based Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI) market research company. Taiwan scored 72 points in the BERI's third 2005 investment climate risk evaluation survey and tied with Norway at fifth in the world ranking. Taiwan only lagged behind Switzerland, Singapore, Japan and the Netherlands and was included along with them in the low-risk 1A category, which is highly recommended by BERI for foreign investors, the officials noted. In Asia,Taiwan was the third best country in terms of foreign investment climate, second only to Singapore and Japan. In terms of business risk, Taiwan ranked third in the world after Switzerland and Singapore. In terms of political risk, Taiwan placed 15th in the world and third in Asia, the same as in 2004.

■ Cargo

Ships to call in Keelung

CMA-CGM, the world's third-largest container shipping line, will include Keelung Harbor on its Asia-Latin America service, CMA-CGM's representative in Taiwan said yesterday. "Starting March, CMA-CGM ships will make port call at Keelung Harbor on its Asia-Latin America route, serviced by eight 3,300-TEU vessels. This is because CMA-CGM is using larger ships and wants to pick up more cargo," CMA-CGM (Taiwan) President James Chow said. CMA-CGM's port calls at the Keelung Harbor is good news to Taiwan ports which are losing their competitiveness due to Taiwan's five-decade ban on shipping links with China. In recent years several foreign lines have cancelled port calls to Taiwan and switched to using feeder service to send goods from Taiwan ports to mother vessels in the Hong Kong Port. CMA-CGM, based in Marseille, France, cancelled port calls to Kaohsiung Harbor in 1996 but resumed them again in 2004.

■ Fraud

Former fair trade VC indicted

Chen Chi-yuan (陳紀元), a former vice chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, was indicted on Wednesday on charges including fraud and embezzlement. The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office, which presented the indictment on Wednesday night, is seeking a four-year prison sentence for Chen. According to the indictment, Chen allegedly acted to steal public funds from the Ministry of Economic Affairs during a period of time between 1998-2003 when he was commissioned by the ministry to plan and carry out governmental research-oriented projects. He was then the head of a private business management consultant company.

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