Wed, Oct 17, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Wang pushes for easing restrictions on PRC investment

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday called on the government to ease restrictions on Taiwanese investment in China's financial sector.

Wang issued the call in a speech entitled "The New Legislative Yuan and Taiwan's Future" during a seminar sponsored by the European Chamber of Commerce Taipei.

As it would be easier for Taiwan-based banks to break into the Chinese market than into the Japanese or European markets, the government should allow local banks and other financial businesses to invest in China as part of their globalization efforts, Wang said.

liberalization

Wang said that liberalization could be implemented in stages, starting with signing memorandums of understanding with their Chinese counterparts.

Taiwan is facing a crunch as it has increasingly been pushed aside amid fierce competition from neighboring countries and hit hard by a worsening economy at home, Wang said.

The nation ranked last among Asia's four little dragons last year in terms of per capita income, with Singapore's average income now double that of Taiwan's, he said.

He added that the central and local governments have collectively incurred financial debts of more than NT$4 trillion (US$123 billion).

The government should devote more energy to improving the economy instead of focusing on political issues, he said, adding that the government should lift restrictions on China-bound investment, allow Chinese capital to invest in Taiwan and open regular direct transportation links.

timing

Asked by reporters after the seminar when he would pay a visit to China, Wang said it might be better to do so after the presidential elections on March 22.

Wang said it would be easier for the nation to negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China on establishing a financial supervision mechanism if the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) were to win the presidential election because this would help improve relations with China and the US.

Wang said he would like to discuss the above-mentioned issues, including the MOU with Chinese officials.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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