Thu, Oct 23, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Trade
WTO official praises Taiwan

A senior WTO official has praised highly the performance of Taiwan and China in the organization, saying that the two sides played "important and statesmanlike" roles in the recently concluded WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico. In the first-ever public speech on Taiwan and China's memberships by a WTO official, Keith Rockwell, director of information and media relations of the WTO, emphasized the positive effect of their memberships. "Both new members have been active in the work of the WTO," said Rockwell in a speech delivered earlier this week at a symposium organized by the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. He said that both have made important contributions to the Doha Development Agenda negotiations.

■ Agriculture

Biotech park approved

The Cabinet yesterday approved draft bills for the establishment of an agricultural biotechnology park in Pingtung County and for the bureau in charge of the park. The Cabinet hopes the park will boost the biotechnological edge of the agricultural sector. "By 2014, we hope to see the park's annual production value reach NT$18 billion and annual revenue generated by patented agricultural products exceed NT$2 billion," Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) told a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday morning. The government hopes to see 120 companies move into the park's first-phase Haifeng base by next February and create 8,000 jobs by 2014.

■ Aid

Mission heads to Thailand

Eight doctors, nurses, chemists and laboratory technicians from the Chiayi Christian Hospital will leave for Thailand today to provide free medical services to residents in rural areas of eastern Thailand. The Chiayi Christian Hospital, established by American missionary-doctor Marcy Ditmanson in 1962, opened its Siam Garden Thai Service Center six years ago to serve Thais working and living in southern Taiwan.

■ Politics

Provincial governor abroad

Taiwan Provincial Governor Lin Kuang-hua (林光華) left for the US yesterday to attend an annual meeting of the US National Governors Association (NGA) to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania later this week. Lin said Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, the current NGA president, had invited him to attend the conference. Lin will deliver a speech at the conference on Taiwan's latest political, economic and social developments. The provincial government maintains sister ties with 42 US states. The NGA has traditionally invited the provincial governor to attend its annual conference.

■ Crime

Yu wants Chu caught

Premier Yu Shyi-kun directed law enforcement authorities yesterday to spare no effort in trying to track down former Kaohsiung City Council speaker Chu An-hsiung (朱安雄) and bring him to justice. The Kaohsiung District Prosecutor's Office issued an all-points bulletin for Chu on Monday after he failed to turn himself in that day in accordance with an arrest warrant issued for him last Friday. Chu, who is facing a 22-month jail term for vote-buying in the election for city council last year, failed to report to court to begin serving his term. Chu's whereabouts remained unknown as of noon yesterday.

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