Wed, May 22, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Pilot zones may do more harm than good: professor

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

The government’s proposed “Free Economic Pilot Zones” may do more harm than good to the local economy, National Taiwan University economics professor Kenneth Lin ( 林向愷) said yesterday.

By allowing Chinese employees to work in the zones, job opportunities for local people will not increase significantly, Lin said at a forum in Taipei.

Meanwhile, investments and salaries outside the zones may remain low after the plan is implemented, he said.

The Cabinet passed the plan in March, aiming to provide economic growth momentum. Under the plan, the government will allow more foreign employees to work in Taiwan, provide tax incentives to companies and ease regulations on foreign direct investment from China.

The government plans to complete the necessary revisions by the end of July and a draft for a larger scale liberation is planned for September, the Council for Economic Planning and Development said.

An official at the council, who declined to be named, said yesterday the goal of the zones is to provide a chance for local businesses to grow in a more liberal environment. As companies within the zones grow bigger, companies doing business with them should also benefit, he added.

The official said the council would evaluate the pros and cons of the plan to avoid a negative impact on the local economy.

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