Tue, Jun 03, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Chen Chu confirms Hon Hai investment in Kaohsiung

SOUTHERN COMFORT Kaohsiung's mayor said that she was happy with the news. However, she was less happy with a report about possible real estate speculators

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) confirmed yesterday that the Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團) will sign a letter of intent to invest in the city through the Export Processing Zone Administration tomorrow.

Chen told reporters yesterday morning that she had received an invitation to a ceremony marking the development that will be held at the Kaohsiung Software Park in Cianjhen District (前鎮).

She welcomed the company’s decision and said she would ask for leave from a Kaohsiung City Council question-and-answer session so that she could attend the function.

The city government had been upbeat after Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) told reporters after a meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on April 7 that he “believed [the company] will soon take action” on Ma’s proposal that it invest in Kaohsiung.

Gou said at the time that Ma had expressed the hope that Hon Hai would invest in Kaohsiung’s software industry and see progress on the matter before he took office on May 20.

“I don’t know if this was an order or an expectation, but this is something I’d love to do,” Gou said, adding that Kaohsiung could be transformed into a digital content creation center in Asia.

Ma also expressed the hope that Hon Hai would ship its products made in Vietnam for export to the US via Kaohsiung Harbor to reduce the time and cost involved in transshipment via Singapore or Hong Kong, Gou said, adding that he had told Ma it would be done.

Kaohsiung’s Economic Affairs Bureau said yesterday that it had briefed Hon Hai on several occasions, but was unsure of which industrial venture or ventures the group would invest in.

There was no word whether it would purchase ready-to-use factory buildings in the Software Park or buy land to build its own research center, city officials responsible for urban development said.

The company said that it would hire around 3,000 workers in Kaohsiung and build housing for its workers as well, they said.

Meanwhile, Chen said that while she wanted to see more investment in the city, she was not in favor of real estate deals aimed at turning quick profits.

Her remarks followed a report that the executive director of the Chinese-language monthly Wealth Magazine was organizing a trip to Kaohsiung for a group of wealthy Taiwanese entrepreneurs this week to explore business opportunities. The entrepreneurs were reportedly planning to invest NT$3 billion (US$99.3 million) in real estate in Kaohsiung.

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