Tue, Jan 01, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Ma pledges to fix economy, restore trust

By Huang Wei-chu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

A less-than-sterling reputation since his re-election in January has prompted President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to use his New Year speech to convey its determination to improve the economy and regain the trust of the people, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

During his speech this morning, Ma is to call on the country to unite and stand firm against economic and political difficulties, adding that the Republic of China (ROC) can forge a new future for itself.

The most difficult task facing Taiwan is increasing competition in global trade, Presidential Office spokesperson Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said.

Taiwan’s economic focus on electronics, information and communications relies on expensive patent authorization from foreign countries, Fan Chiang said, adding that the president felt Taiwan must move beyond original equipment manufacturing due to changes in the global economy.

Negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership scheduled this year, the emergence of free-trade agreements between other countries in Asia and the US government’s strong push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership indicates that Taiwan must catch up with others in this sector so that its industries will be on a level playing field with that of regional competitors, Fan Chiang said.

Ma was to say that an imbalance between business requirements and the abilities of recent graduates meant that although universities in Taiwan have flourished, the academic and the practical sides of knowledge have not been brought together.

The gap between practical and academic knowledge is making it hard for well-qualified people to find jobs despite, industries lacking basic engineering personnel as well as people for more advanced research and development jobs, the president was to say.

Ma was to say that pensions, labor insurance and an aging society have become increasingly problematic issues over the past decade, adding that while financial deficits in the system have yet to threaten the nation’s finances, the situation will only worsen if not addressed.

Ma was also to say that the Presidential Office is prioritizing financial matters and regaining the people’s trust, adding that the government would stand firm in its policies and lead the nation to a greater and more prosperous future.

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