Thu, Dec 01, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Business group presents Beijing with white paper

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

The Chinese National Federation of Industries (全國工業總會) yesterday released its second annual white paper, which laid out 49 suggestions for ways that China could aid Taiwanese business investments.

The suggestions include areas of cross-strait relations, human resources, environmental protection, intellectual property protections, as well as policies on investments, taxation, customs and finance.

The federation called on Beijing to devise an effective solution to resolve electricity shortages to maintain the smooth operation of Taiwanese firms’ factories and to help Taiwanese firms remain competitive by assisting with industrial upgrades.

The federation — a major umbrella trade group consisting of 153 Taiwanese industrial associations — said it would present the white paper to the Chinese State Council and follow up with the authority to ensure that the suggestions are taken into account during future policy formulation.

Last year, the federation presented its first white paper to the State Council and the Chinese authority responded positively to 36 of the paper’s 43 suggestions, federation chairman Preston Chen (陳武雄) told a press conference.

The federation will continue to monitor the progress on all unanswered suggestions, he added.

Business leaders and analysts at the event yesterday said that while China is a necessary market for Taiwanese enterprises in terms of overseas business expansion, the firms have to speed up their pace of industrial upgrades and enter other global markets to cut their dependence on a single market.

“The investment environment in China is changing fast and Taiwanese firms there are facing common challenges, such as labor and electricity shortages, rising costs, financing difficulties and the need for industrial upgrades,” federation vice chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄) said.

Hsu is the chairman of Kinpo Group (金仁寶集團), whose subsidiaries include contract notebook PC maker Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶) and mobile phone operator Vibo Telecom Inc (威寶電信).

According to Hsu, Chinese wages are expected to double by 2015 from current levels — an inevitable trend that is also foreseen in labor-intensive markets such as Vietnam. Therefore, Taiwanese firms have to brace themselves for these challenges, he said.

Enterprises must expand abroad, but they should eye global markets to diversify risk and avoid only setting their sights on China.

Sam Yuan (袁明仁), a veteran consultant for Taiwanese businesses in China, called on the Taiwanese government to take stronger action to ensure the welfare of local firms operating in China.

“If Taiwanese firms have problems in China, it will directly impact Taiwan’s exports as a whole and cost many Taiwanese their jobs,” Yuan said.

According to Yuan, Chinese municipal governments in Dongguan and Kunshan, which have strong ties with Taiwanese firms, have recently given billions of yuan in subsidies to assist Taiwanese firms with industrial upgrades

Yuan said Taipei should also extend assistance to firms running businesses across the Taiwan Strait.

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