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 (
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 (
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.