Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday the Cabinet is considering relaxing regulations to lure Taiwanese-invested companies operating in China back home and allowing them to list on the the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
"We're still working on the details and plan to make public a concrete plan in a couple of months," Yu said yesterday.
Yu dismissed speculation that the planned measure is aimed at winning support from China-based Taiwanese businesspeople ahead of the March presidential election.
"It has nothing to do with the election whatsoever because what we have in mind is how to make China-based Taiwanese businesspeople keep their roots here as they expand their businesses across the Strait," he said.
Yu made the remarks at a breakfast with the media in Taichung County. Yesterday was the last day of Yu's two-day trip to the areas hardest hit by the 921 earthquake, which injured more than 13,000 people four years ago. He visited Nantou County on Saturday.
According to Yu, a special fund to get companies to come back home is being set up because it is comparatively more difficult for small and medium-sized Taiwanese-invested companies in China to raise funds, both here and in China, than their conglomerate counterparts.
"The idea behind it is very simple. As a responsible government, we feel obliged to take care of the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those interested in keeping their roots here," he said.
To encourage them to channel their investments here, Yu said, the Cabinet would lower the threshold for the amount of money these companies need to establish their operations or research and development centers in Taiwan.
There are two ways to list a company on the Taiwan Stock Exchange: via the issuance of Taiwan Depositary Receipts or the establishment of an investment holding company.
NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
Undaunted by media pressure for an answer regarding what the the Cabinet would do once a referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is held, Yu said it is too early to tell as the referendum law is still before the legislature.
"The only thing I can say about this is that the Cabinet will handle the matter in accordance with the law, no matter the result of the referendum," Yu said.
In the absence of a referendum law, the government will continue construction on the power plant even if the public votes against it, he said.
The Cabinet will follow what is specified in the referendum law -- which is awaiting legislative review -- if the public votes against it in a legally binding referendum held once the law is passed.
Responding to the planned mass assembly organized by Chunghwa Telecom's (中華電信) labor union outside the legislature tomorrow, Yu said that he will ask Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to make sure he is able to deliver a scheduled report to the lawmaking body.
The union has vowed to disrupt Yu's report to show their anger over plans to privatize the company.
The union also opposes the company's decision to sell a portion of its shares to private companies such as Taiwan Cellular Corp (
Chunghwa Telecom, the monopolized provider of local phone service, has one of the nation's two largest unions, with 35,000 members.