Fri, Jun 04, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Chen to AmCham: pan-blues to blame

STALLED The president said a DPP victory in December would ease trade problems and that it was the judiciary that was responsible for lax treatment of copyright theft

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday pledged that the government would create a more stable and efficient environment for foreign investment, but only after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wins legislative elections in December.

Chen was responding to complaints from foreign business leaders over perceived inefficiencies within Taiwan and over obstacles to cross-strait trade.

"The business leaders said that problems of co-ordination within the government were becoming serious, which was referring to the relationship between the Cabinet, the legislature and the judiciary," Chen said while receiving a delegation of engineers at the Presidential Office.

"The inefficiency of the Legislative Yuan and the ignorance of the judicial system with regard to copyright violations and smuggling have worked against government efforts to reform the system," Chen said.

"I greatly regret that the government has been idling and wasting its time taking part in domestic struggles these four years simply because the ruling party does not have a majority in the Legislative Yuan," Chen said.

"However, I am confident that the legislative election at the end of the year will change the situation, and that this deadlock between the Cabinet and the Legislative Yuan will then be broken, facilitating the necessary changes," he said.

On Tuesday the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham), in its 2004 Taiwan White Paper, called on the government to improve economic ties with China, adding that the country's status as a regional economic hub would be jeopardized if direct links with China were not established soon.

On Monday, Chen met with top executives from 17 foreign investment banks and brokerages in an attempt to restore foreign investor confidence in the local economy and the stock market.

Chen yesterday expressed his gratitude to the business leaders, saying that their concerns and suggestions reflected sincere expectations of his administration and should be scrutinized with a view to amending policy.

On the cross-strait relationship, Chen said that although AmCham placed a lot of emphasis on forging direct links with China, it was important to recognize that Beijing had displayed an arrogant and negative attitude, which made the nation's efforts to increase economic integration a much more complex and delicate process.

"Foreign business leaders understand that the cross-strait issue is no longer the responsibility of just one side," he said.

Chen added that his inauguration speech mentioned the need to foster respect for differences between the two sides as well as common values so that communication and co-operation could flourish.

Chen said that Taiwan had endeavored to forge closer ties with China and establish a base of mutual trust.

He said he was sure that the business leaders would agree with his remarks wholeheartedly.

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