One day after his speech promising economic growth, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) urged Taiwanese manufacturers yesterday to keep their business roots in Taiwan and to support his administration's push for further constitutional reforms to consolidate the nation's young democracy.
Chen made the appeal in a speech delivered at the joint opening of the ninth annual conference of the World Federation of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce and the 10th annual conference of the Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Asia.
Noting that a prosperous Taiwan will contribute to business groups' global expansion plans, Chen said he hoped that all local business people will give priority to investing in Taiwan and retaining their business roots here while making forays into the world market.
Chen said his administration had made strenuous efforts to revitalize the domestic economy and attract foreign investment.
"All those efforts have paid off," Chen said, adding that several world-renowned market research firms, including Swiss Business Environment Risk Intelligence, have given high marks to Taiwan's investment climate and overall national competitiveness.
Since the government launched its six-year "Challenge 2008" national development plan, Chen said, more than 10 renowned multinational business groups have set up research and development centers in Taiwan.
In addition, Chen said, more than 250 overseas Taiwanese companies have also decided to establish their global operational headquarters here by the end of this year.
While corporate Taiwan epitomizes the country's economic strength, Chen said, Taiwan is the root of all Taiwanese companies.
"And all business people will benefit from a stronger Taiwan," he said.
The country's democratic reforms have yet to be completed, he said.
"We still have a lot of work to do, ranging from education, judicial and financial overhauls to constitutional reforms," he said, adding that Taiwan must craft a constitutional framework that fits its present realities.
As overseas Taiwanese business people have been a pivotal force supporting the nation's economic development and political reform, Chen said he is hopeful that they will support his call to introduce a new constitution for Taiwan.
Chen made his appeal for a new constitution the first time on Sept. 28 at a rally marking the 17th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in his capacity as the ruling party's chairman.
He said he hopes that in 2006, when the DPP turns 20 years old, all of the 23 million people of Taiwan will push for a new constitution.
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