Thu, Mar 15, 2012 - Page 12 News List

CEPD urges caution over Pingtan Island zone offer

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Investing in China’s Pingtan Island may be highly risky for Taiwanese companies because of the island’s lack of infrastructure development, Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) said yesterday.

Yiin’s warning came in response to questions from several members of the legislature’s Economics Committee about a possible brain drain following the announcement by China’s Fujian Provincial Government that it planned to recruit more than 1,000 Taiwanese professionals to work at its Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone.

The key factor in avoiding a brain drain to China is to strengthen Taiwan’s investment environment and entice more industries to maintain their operational base here, Yiin said.

“Having more industries to stay in Taiwan will help create more jobs and further raise employees’ salaries,” he said during the question-and-answer session.

Pingtan does not offer a lot to investors, which is why Fujian has to make an effort to recruit professionals and offer favorable terms to potential investors, he said.

Fujian Governor Su Shulin (蘇樹林) announced last month that the province would offer management positions to Taiwanese professionals at annual salaries of between 200,000 yuan (US$31,600) and 2 million yuan, along with three to five years of free housing.

Taiwanese companies thinking about taking up the offer should carefully evaluate the zone’s investment proposal because of the language issue, while the island’s isolated location means the zone might not provide too many business options.

Some lawmakers also questioned Yiin about the government’s plans to open more domestic industries to Chinese investment, warning that this might have an adverse impact on local industries.

Yiin said he was not worried about the planned policy relaxation, adding that he believes the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission would maintain strict standards in the evaluation process and that each investment would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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