Textbook publishers fined
The Fair Trade Commission yesterday ruled that three local textbook publishers had contravened the Fair Trade Law (公平交易法) by bidding up textbook prices last year. The three publishers, Kang Shuan Company, Yu-chiao Company and the Nan-I Publishers, will be fined NT$2.9 million, NT$550,000 and NT$2.3 million respectively. The three companies, which account for 75 percent of the textbook market for elementary schools and junior high schools, were fined for raising textbook prices last year by NT$35 to NT$58 per book. The companies were also accused of unfairly restricting their retailers from selling books in certain areas.
Economic zone inaugurated
The Economic Processing Zone Administration's (EPZA's) Pingtung branch in southern Taiwan was inaugurated yesterday. The inauguration ceremony was jointly presided over by EPZA Director-General Joseph Chou (周嚴), Pingtung County Government Secretary-General Shih Ching-feng and Pingtung Economic Export Processing Zone Director Lin Chun-teh (林存德). Chou said that the industrial zone is 124 hectares and will be developed in three stages. The zone is scheduled to be completed in 2007 with a development expenditure of NT$7.2 billion and is expected to create 43,600 jobs. Chou said the administration's solicitation of manufacturers to station in the zone has been going smoothly, and that public construction in the zone is making good progress. Lin said his office will provide faster service to manufacturers and investors. The public construction in the zone is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Lu promotes R&D
Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) called on local business and industrial circles yesterday to redouble their efforts to carry out research and development projects to promote domestic innovation, or what she called "Invention in Taiwan." Lu made the appeal while addressing an annual meeting of the Taiwan Industrial Technology Association (TITA) in Taipei. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) also extended a congratulatory message to the meeting, which was attended by over 100 TITA members. Local manufacturers should not continue to be proud of the "Made in Taiwan" slogan anymore, but should intensify their R&D efforts, Lu said. Touching on the rush to invest in China, Lu said that Taiwanese manufacturers should think twice before investing there, although their investments would generate a trade surplus for Taiwan.
Guatemala welcomes envoy
Taiwan Ambassador to Guatemala Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) presented his credentials to Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo Wednesday and vowed to enhance friendly ties between the two countries. Portillo welcomed Ou and expressed confidence that bilateral relations will be further advanced during Ou's second tenure in Guatemala. Vice President Juan Francisco Reyes Lopez and foreign ministry officials were also present at the credential presentation. Ou relayed President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) greeting to Portillo and he thanked Portillo for Guatemala's strong support for Taiwan in the international community.