Thu, Jul 01, 2004 - Page 1 News List

President lauds the nation's economic policies at event

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday expressed optimism about Taiwan's future economic situation, saying that the annual growth rate could reach 5.41 percent this year, as economic growth has already shown marked boost in the first quarter to stand at 6.28 percent, which is 1.12 percent higher than anticipated.

Chen yesterday presided over the inauguration of a 12-inch wafer fab, or semiconductor factory, for Inotera Memories Inc (華亞半導體), a 50-50 joint venture between Taiwan's Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) and Germany's Infineon Technologies AG, saying that Taiwan's economy is dynamically expanding as the economic growth rate in the first quarter alone reached 6.28 percent, its best quarterly performance in five years.

"With economic growth in the first quarter surging 1.12 percent higher than we anticipated, we are confident that the annual growth rate could leap to 5.41 percent, which is 0.67 percent higher than previous estimates. The whole economic expansion is picking up strongly and becoming stable," Chen said yesterday.

Chen expressed his appreciation for Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), the parent company of Nanya Technology, and for the German company's faith in investing in Taiwan, saying the materialization of the 12-inch wafer fab, which will adopt the world's most-advanced wafer-manufacturing technology, 0.11 micron silicon wafer manufacturing, has proved the investors' far-reaching vision by making investments in Taiwan.

He said that the Infineon-Nanya joint venture was inspiring, as it has been only 18 months since Dec. 2, 2002, when he witnessed a ground breaking ceremony for the plant, which is expected to start commercial production of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. The fab is capable of producing 24,000 wafers per month by the end of this year, and 54,000 wafers per month by the end of next year.

Reflecting on the course of the economic situation in recent years, Chen said Taiwan's economy was in the doldrums in late 2002 when Infineon and Nanya Technology were talking about the joint venture, however, undaunted by the situation, the two companies went ahead with the plan and now time has proved that their confidence in Taiwan has earned them substantial business opportunities.

Chen then pointed out the recent surge in the return of Taiwanese businesspeople based in China, which he said has a lot to do with the economy's taking off.

Under the government's incentives to promote business expansion in recent years, more and more Taiwanese businesspeople in China have been seen redirecting their investment back in Taiwan, he said.

One of the government schemes which gives preferential rates to land rented in five designated industrial districts around the country has attracted a total of 44 Taiwanese companies operating in China to return to Taiwan, boosting the total investment amount to NT$23.4 billion since 2002, the president said.

"When many international institutions list Taiwan as one of the most competitive countries in the world, when more and more foreign investors make investments in Taiwan and when successful Taiwanese businesspeople in China are returning to Taiwan, we can no longer have any hesitation or doubts about our country," Chen concluded.

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