Mon, Dec 11, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Council plans mega project to develop eastern Taiwan

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The government will soon launch a "mega-development project" aimed at transforming eastern Taiwan's agricultural and tourism industry while ensuring the quality of life there, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) announced yesterday.

The project, formally known as the "Eastern Taiwan Sustainable Development Plan," is expected to be in the pipeline beginning today when the council convenes its first meeting on the project.

Under the plan, the government will invest some NT$50 billion (US$1.54 billion) over nine years to transform the eastern corridor into an international-standard tourism area, conserving the region's natural beauty while building an environment with a leading quality of life, council officials said.

Specifically, the project will focus on developing the tourism industry in the corridor's rural townships; developing an industrial processing zone for deep-sea products; promoting an "immigration" program and building new villages in the area; developing a cottage industry-based economy; bolstering railway and multiple transportation systems; and reviewing the existing policy of transporting sand and gravel from east to west Taiwan, council officials said.

The mega-development project is expected to be jointly implemented by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Council of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Administration.

An ad hoc committee to promote the "Eastern Taiwan Sustainable Development Plan" is expected to be established shortly, probably with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) or Vice Premier Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as convener, CEPD officials said.

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