Fri, Jan 28, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Kuo Ching-chiang to chair a Taiwan-US joint venture

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kuo Ching-chiang (郭清江), the vice chairman of the Public Construction Commission (PCC), will become the chairman of the Sino-Swearingen Aircraft Corp next week, the Taipei Times learned yesterday.

Kuo, who received his doctorate in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972, has worked in aerospace industry related field for decades.

"My expertise is sufficient to take this post," Kuo told the Taipei Times yesterday.

The government's investment in the company accounts for about 90 percent of its capitalization. For years, opposition parties have criticized the government's investment in the firm, saying that the action could be entirely attributed to the diplomatic needs.

However, Kuo said that the total investment in the company in the last five years, which came to about US$500 million, was not a great deal of money. He predicted the government might need to inject another US$100 million.

The priority for Kuo now is to get approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration for a new type of commercial jet, the SJ30-2, in October. The seven-passenger jet, designed for wealthy buyers, could be sold at prices between US$5.5 million and US$6 million.

According to Kuo, the company received orders for 130 commercial jets last October at a large exhibition.

He said smooth mass production might balance the government's investment by 2008.

Kuo, who has been devoted to the promotion of ecological engineering methods for many years, was strongly criticized by opposition parties in the wake of Tropical Storm Mindulle, which caused devastating floods in the center and south of the country last July.

But Kuo said that the blame for such disasters belongs on public construction projects that used ecological unfriendly engineering methods.

Kuo stressed yesterday that the country had no choice but to continue with projects using ecological engineering methods in order to ensure both the people's safety and biodiversity.

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