Sun, Sep 28, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Chen boosts high-tech cooperation

ALLIANCE Taiwan and the Philippines can reap global benefits by expanding bilateral trade, the president said at a forum between the countries

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday looked to boost cooperation between the high-tech and information industries in Taiwan and the Philippines, saying that an alliance would benefit both countries in the global market.

Integrated circuits and printed circuit boards are the major high-tech exports to the Philippines, Chen said.

"If both sides can enhance information-technology cooperation to expand bilateral trade and investment, then it will ultimately bring substantial economic benefits," he said.

The president said that in the light of the proposal to form the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), the two countries should draw up a global strategy to combine Taiwan's manufacturing skills with the Philippines' marketing distribution.

The president was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Taiwan, Philippines High-technology Forum yesterday in Taipei.

Chen said that the Philippines has already become an important destination for Taiwanese businessmen looking to invest in Southeast Asia.

"Investment from Taiwanese businessmen in the Philippines has reached US$750 million, making the country the fifth biggest foreign investor in the Philippines," Chen said. "Taiwan is a major trade partner of the Philippines."

Chen said the information industry in Taiwan had more than 20 years of experience and held a key position in the global information market. Therefore, Taiwan would be pleased to share its experience in developing its information industry with the Philippines, Chen said.

"Taiwan was ranked as the fourth largest producer of information-industry hardware last year," Chen said.

"Notebook computers, liquid crystal displays, mother boards, monitors and recordable compact disks all take over 50 percent of the global market share."

"The Philippines can learn from Taiwan's successful experiences of developing the information industry," Chen said.

"Moreover, through industrial and labor cooperation, the two countries' information industries can adopt the advantages of both and improve their weaknesses to create joint economic growth."

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