Wed, Aug 31, 2005 - Page 3 News List

SEF opens center for China-based businesspeople

BY CHIU YU-TZU  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

Taiwanese businesspeople in China should not be abused by political figures seeking to further their own careers, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said yesterday at the inauguration of the Service Center for Taiwan Business People.

His comment was seen as an indirect attack on a similar center launched by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) last week.

Chang, who took over the leadership of the foundation in June, said that SEF had started planning the Taipei center on Aug. 11. The foundation wants to strengthen existing programs for businesspeople, he said.

"Back then, I hadn't heard of the Chinese Nationalist Party's [KMT] idea to establish a similar center" Chang said.

The KMT opened a liaison and service center in Taipei for China-based Taiwanese businesspeople last Friday to help safeguard their rights.

Chang said he was happy that the KMT was willing to offer businesspeople more assistance.

"However, if offering this kind of service is abused by political figures to further their personal interests, I don't think Taiwanese businesspeople will applaud it," Chang said.

Both Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳昭燮) were on hand for yesterday's opening ceremony.

"This is a significant step. It demonstrates that Taiwan is resolved to take care of Taiwanese businesspeople. We hope the foundation will boost its budget next year in order to improve the quality of service," Hsieh said.

According to the foundation, the center will help strengthen its network in 84 areas in China and offer professional advisory services on law, financing, living, education and investments.

A hotline (02-27151995) will also be set up to provide another channel for businesspeople and their families seeking urgent help, the SEF said.

KMT legislative caucus whip Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) said yesterday that he doubted the SEF's center would be effective because it was set up in such a hurry.

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