More recently, the government has proposed setting up “free economic pilot zones,” but the plan is still centered on China and on Taiwanese businesses based there. When the government has this kind of mindset, it is not surprising that the economy is “as depressed as could be.”
Is there any way out? All that needs to be done is to take a good look at TSMC’s concentration and global outlook. If the government can bring itself to abandon its line of integration with China and instead devote time and resources to Taiwan, then the nation could surely produce more outstanding companies like TSMC, and the days of the “depressed” economy would be numbered.
In January, TSMC chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) suggested the New Taiwan dollar’s exchange rate could afford to fall a bit. It is precisely because TSMC does almost all of its manufacturing in Taiwan that Chang perceived the need for this.
Huang Tien-lin is former president and chairman of the First Commercial Bank.
Translated by Julian Clegg