Sat, Jan 15, 2005 - Page 4 News List

SOEs review plan to alter designations

NAME CHANGE A top MOEA official said China Shipbuilding Corp and Chinese Petroleum Corp are looking at ways to minimize the impact of relabeling themselves

CNA , TAIPEI

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Ruey-long (陳瑞隆) said yesterday that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are reviewing a plan to change their designations to avoid confusion with China, but no assessments have yet been received from companies overseen by the ministry.

Chen said he doesn't think that changing the names of the Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) and the China Shipbuilding Corp (CSBC) would hurt their operations.

Chen was responding to media reports that said the Executive Yuan had asked the two companies to submit their name-change plan by the end of this month and implement the changes by the end of June.

"If the Executive Yuan sets a deadline for the enterprises to complete the name changes, the Ministry of Economic Affairs will meet it," Chen said.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) first broached the idea of changing the names of overseas missions and state-owned enterprises in the run-up to the Dec. 11 legislative elections. The idea is to drop the words "China," "Chinese" or "Chunghwa" (Chinese) to underscore Taiwan's identity and avoid confusion with China.

Premier Yu Shui-kun said recently that the name-change idea is still being actively pursued, with the CPC, the CSBC, Chunghwa Telecom, the International Commercial Bank of China, Chunghwa Post, and the Central Trust of China being the top priorities.

"It is necessary to make a name-change of state-owned enterprises, " Chen Ruey-long said, adding that the CPC and the CSBC are now working on the matter, hoping to find the best way to mitigate the impact on their operations.

"As the two companies have yet to submit their reports to the ministry, I have no way of predicting the actual expenses, but as long as the name changes are helpful to future operations, the expense will be bearable, " he said.

Asked whether the name changes will cause losses to the firms' reputations and brands, Chen said the CPC is mainly geared toward the domestic market, and its cooperation with foreign companies in exploration will not be affected by the name change.

The exports of oil products will hinge on quality and price, he said.

The technology and the quality of the CSBC have also won recognition, he said, and its operations have been good in recent years with customers lining up to place orders.

"The Ministry of Economic Affairs is confident that the operations of the CSBC will not be affected by the name change," he said.

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