If the plan to build Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co’s (國光石化) naphtha cracker plant in Taiwan is scrapped, it would have a positive influence on the nation’s economy in the long term, economists said yesterday.
Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said on Saturday that Kuokuang Petrochemical might seek an alternative location overseas for its proposed plant, after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said on Friday that the government would not support the construction of the company’s project in Changhua County.
GDP growth could fall by 2 percentage points if the plant’s construction in Taiwan is halted because domestic investment momentum could drop without the NT$900 billion (US$31.11 billion) two-phase project, not to mention the economic spin-off effects, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said last week.
However, Gordon Sun (孫明德), deputy director of the macroeconomic forecasting center at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院), said any negative impact on GDP growth could be compensated for with the government’s other -investment projects.
“If Kuokuang Petrochemical’s project is out, the government could come up with projects or construction in other industries and transfer the NT$900 billion investment to them, keeping up the momentum in domestic investment,” Sun said by telephone yesterday.
Furthermore, the ministry’s forecast that 2 percentage points could be shaved off GDP growth would be a long-term effect spread over five to eight years, not just one year, Sun said.
Liang Kuo-yuan (梁國源), president of the Polaris Research Institute (寶華綜合經濟研究院), said that any potential withdrawal of Kuokuang Petrochemical’s investment from Taiwan would only have a limited impact on GDP growth.
“External demand could be -impacted if the project is halted, but the benefits for the local natural environment and water quality could offset this negative impact, as the macroeconomics not only include GDP growth, but also the potential negative consequences brought about by the execution of the project,” Liang told the Taipei Times.
Diagee Shaw (蕭代基), president of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (中華經濟研究院), said the potential withdrawal of the project could inspire the government into thinking that the development of the petrochemical industry should focus on quality, not just quantity.
The government is now seeking to develop a value-added petrochemical industry, such as the production of optical coatings and upstream materials for solar energy and LED industries, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) told a media briefing on Saturday.
Sun agreed that Taiwan could develop a high-end petrochemical industry by applying its successful development experience in the development of its semiconductor foundry industry.
“We should let investments in low-value and high-contamination sectors be made overseas, while retaining the value-added sectors here,” Sun said.
The government should also consider transferring the budgeted funds for the Kuokuang project to bio-technology, tourism and other manufacturing industries with value-added components, compensating for any potential dip in GDP growth, should the project be withdrawn, Sun said.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the
SCATTERED: Production would be dispersed among a number of countries, which would bring an end to so-called world factories, Hon Hai chairman Young Liu said Decentralized production would be the new focus in manufacturing, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) yesterday told an online forum held by the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所). “The COVID-19 pandemic exerted a heavy impact on supply chains as well as production ... [production] would no longer be concentrated in solely one country, this is the end of what we used to call world factories,” Liu said during a panel discussion hosted by MIC director Victor Tsan (詹文男). As the US and China continue to dominate and sway international relations, the rest of the world is