State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) on Saturday said it aims to be fully privatized by the end of 2017.
In an interview, CPC chairman Lin Sheng-chung (林聖忠) said the company has held meetings to help its employees gain a better understanding of the importance of privatization, which is expected to boost the company’s competitiveness.
Lin said CPC will continue to communicate with its employees in an attempt to secure their approval to privatize the company as scheduled.
In April last year, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) instructed the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which controls CPC, to map out a schedule for the oil refinery’s privatization.
As part of the process, the ministry’s State-owned Enterprise Commission decided to unload a 55 percent stake in CPC by the end of 2017.
However, based on a decision made by the Legislative Yuan in 2003, the ministry must obtain approval from the CPC’s union through negotiations, before launching a plan to hand its CPC stake to private owners.
Lin said that 10 years after the Legislative Yuan’s decision, the CPC privatization plan has failed to make any progress as a result of strong opposition from the union.
Meanwhile, the company faces fiercer than ever competition in the global market, and it is becoming increasingly urgent for CPC to go private to take on upcoming challenges and grow, he said.
Lin said privatization is the only way the company will be able to avoid the limitations imposed by several laws concerning state-owned entities, such as the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) and the Budget Act (預算法).
By privatizing, the company will create more leeway for more efficient decisionmaking, which will help the company seize business opportunities, he added.
He said that as a company which is going private later than its counterparts, CPC believes it will be able to avoid the mistakes the others made during the privatization process.
Among the state-run companies that have completed privatization, China Steel Corp (中鋼), one of Taiwan’s largest steelmakers, was privatized in 1995, while Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the country’s largest telecom operator, went private in 2005.
Lin said CPC’s privatization plan will include a stake sale program, ideas on ensuring employees’ welfare and rights and the company’s future development plan.