Tue, Dec 05, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Chungshan-private investor venture project confirmed

By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi, center, answers questions from reporters yesterday before attending a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

The Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology is to launch a joint venture with private investors, Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) confirmed yesterday.

“The government policy to establish an indigenous and self-sufficient defense industry has the full support of the minister of national defense, and this project is the first step toward that goal,” Chen said a day after the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) reported that the institute had agreed late last month to a joint venture with private investors to commercialize its technologies.

The report quoted an anonymous high-ranking official as saying that the venture, a precision manufacturing concern with about 40 percent public funding, would be a pilot program for other collaborations.

Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) and other members of the institute’s board of directors last month approved the deal on condition that public investors would be included on the board of the joint venture, the report said.

The institute has signed an agreement with an unnamed civilian manufacturer and the joint venture is expected to be registered soon, the report cited the official as saying.

The institute would invest about NT$30 million (US$998,801), which would be enough to secure seats on the board, the official said.

If the joint venture’s performance is satisfactory, the institute would establish more such ventures, including some where it might hold the controlling interest.

Such ventures would not deal in armaments to avoid a repeat of the short-lived Taiwan Goal Co (鐽震), the official added.

Taiwan Goal Co was a publicly funded arms firm established in 2008 that existed for just two months before Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers pushed the Ministry of Economic Affairs to dissolve it on the grounds that government involvement in the arms trade was improper.

The institute’s charter authorizes its board to make investments or create spin-off firms to meet operational needs, the official said.

The collaboration is in line with the institute’s charter, but the ministry would not discuss details that might compromise trade secrets, Chen said.

Additional reporting by Lu Yi-hsuan

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