Wed, Nov 05, 2003 - Page 1 News List

`Mr. Taiwan' seeks liberalized foreign-investment rules

By Chang Yun-Ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

"Mr. Taiwan" Peter Kurz (谷月涵) called on the government yesterday to loosen limits on foreign investment and allow a freer flow of investment across the Taiwan Strait.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had invited Kurz to comment on the country's financial and economic environment following the World Economic Forum's latest report on Taiwan's global competitiveness. The report ranked Taiwan No. 5 in the world and first in Asia.

Kurz, speaking at the party's weekly Central Standing Committee meeting, praised Taiwan as the "gatekeeper" of global electronics manufacturing.

He said the country plays a pivotal role in greater China's capital market, which he said has become Taiwan's market for "domestic demand."

Kurz, one of the most influential securities consultants in the nation, said Taiwan outshines its Chinese counterpart in terms of a sound judicial system, effective enterprise operation and management, and its innovation and manufacturing ability.

But Kurz advised the DPP administration to further ease limits on foreign investment to allow a greater flow of foreign capital.

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) yesterday quoted Kurz as saying that "the government's recent loosening on the limits of foreign investment is still not enough and should be further lifted."

Kurz said that China-based Taiwanese businesses should be allowed to list on the domestic stock market.

Meanwhile, Kurz pointed to the drawbacks of the government's financial monitoring policy, saying the Central Bank's monitoring of the huge flow of foreign exchange should be stopped.

DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) asked Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥), vice chairwoman of the Cabinet's Council for Economic Planning and Development, who also attended yesterday's meeting, to take Kurz's advice into account.

Chang said Taiwan's No. 5 ranking in the competitiveness survey signifies that "the government's policy-making has a great influence on national competitiveness."

Chang said that, over the past three years, the government had loosened and simplified a number of regulations in order to liberalize the investment environment.

The government experienced a recent setback, however, in the legislature amid stalled budget and financial reform bills, Chang said, adding these bills would significantly boost overall economic performance.

He urged the opposition parties to set aside their partisan differences and help pass the bills as soon as possible.

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