Sun, Dec 28, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Diplomacy

Mori heads home

Former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori left Taiwan yesterday afternoon after wrapping up a three-day private visit. Although no longer in power, Mori is still considered one of the few political heavyweights in Japan. He was the Japanese prime minister who granted a visa to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in 2001 allowing him to receive medical treatment in spite of strong opposition from Beijing. Political analysts said Mori's visit was expected to strengthen Taiwan-Japan ties in the lack of official relations. During Mori's stay in Taipei, he met with several important political figures, including President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Lee.

■ Finance

Tax cut to be extended

Taiwan's legislators plan to extend by a year a two-year capital gains tax cut on land sales to boost home sales, the Commercial Times reported, citing Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), a Democratic Progressive Party legislator.

Legislators plan to pass a bill as early as Tuesday allowing the government to maintain the capital-gains tax at between 20 and 30 percent, the report said.

The tax cut boosted property trading after it was implemented in February last year, the report said. Taiwan's government collected about NT$60 billion in capital-gains taxes on land sales last year, up from NT$42 billion in 2001, the paper reported.

The cut was introduced in a bid to help spur the sale of 1.2 million excess homes built during a real estate boom in the 1980s and 1990s.

■ Trade

Produce exhibition held

A two-day exhibition of Taiwan's high-quality agricultural products was launched yesterday in Tainan, with domestic and overseas buyers attending. The exhibition, organized by the China External Trade Development Council (CETRA) at the commission of the Council of Agriculture, is aimed at promoting the sale of Taiwan's agricultural products both in local and foreign markets. According to CETRA, foreign buyers attending the exhibition came mainly from South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. As the government has attached much importance to such product-promotion activities, President Chen Shui-bian will be invited today to attend the exhibition, where more than 1,000 farm, livestock and marine products will be exhibited.

■ Airlines

Dragonair to buy a freighter

Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd will buy a second-hand Boeing 747 freighter from Taiwan, the Standard said, citing the company's chief executive, Stanley Hui.

The carrier chose a 1989 Boeing 747-200F cargo plane, which was put up for sale by the Central Trust of China, a Taiwan government agency set up to handle public procurement, the newspaper said. Dragonair could pay between US$22.6 million and US$30 million for the freighter, it said.

The second-hand freighter, which is China Airlines' only remaining 747-200 freighter, will join Dragonair's freighter fleet as early as the end of next month, the Standard said. China Airlines is Taiwan's largest carrier. Dragonair, the city's second-largest carrier, said in May it may add as many as 10 Boeing freighters in the next five years as it seeks to boost revenue from carrying cargo resulting from increased trade with China. The carrier already owns three Boeing 747-300 freight-carrying planes.

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