Thu, Nov 02, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Chang says he will do his best during APEC summit

ONLY NATURAL With the nation's president barred from attending the economic summit, Taiwan's lead man on semiconductors will be the its top negotiator

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Morris Chang (張忠謀), the chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) said yesterday he believes his decision to attend this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will serve Taiwan's interests and contribute to the functions of APEC.

He said representing Chen at the 14th APEC summit is only natural, since he is a businessman and the APEC summit is an international forum established for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

The APEC summit will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Nov. 18 and 19.

The Taiwanese president has been barred from attending the annual APEC summits as a result of opposition by China.

Last year, Lin Hsin-yi (林信義), a former vice premier, attended the meeting in Busan, South Korea.

Asked by reporters if he is also willing to be equally committed to be Taiwan's top negotiator in cross-strait talks, Chang, who is a board director of Taiwan's quasi-official intermediary body the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), declined to answer.

Chang, 74, has been given the nickname "godfather of Taiwan's semiconductor manufacturing."

TSMC, the world's largest made-to-order chipmaker, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the global chip-foundry sector, plays a leading role in Taiwan's high-technology industry.

He made the remarks during a ceremony held in Taipei yesterday to mark the 40th founding anniversary of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI).

During the CACCI gathering, Chang said innovation of products and technologies do not necessarily guarantee increases in profits for a company or industry.

Rather, he said, only when a company or industry adopts an innovative business model can it create profits effectively.

Last week, Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), the Presidential Office's deputy secretary-general, said that Chen had told Vietnamese envoy Hoang Van Dung that he was extremely enthusiastic about Chang's achievements in the high-tech sector and especially in his research on and development of semiconductors.

In May last year, Chang told shareholders that he would announce his retirement from the company "at a proper time" after its board revised a company charter to allow its president, Rich Tsai (蔡力行), to double as chief executive officer.

The move to allow Tsai to take over from Chang's post as chief executive officer was interpreted by analysts and investors at the time as preparation for a possible management shakeup.

It also partly released Chang from his daily operational responsibilities.

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