Sun, Jun 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Major think tanks to present economic development plans


A conference on the country's economic prospects in the coming 10 years will be held on July 4, an official of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), the organizer of the conference, said yesterday.

Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), chairman of the Chung Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER), will present proposals to the government on behalf of the country's major economic think tanks and leading research institutions -- CIER, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, Taiwan Thinktank, Taiwan Research Institute and Academia Sinica.

The meeting is considered to be a prelude to the conference on Taiwan's sustainable economic growth being organized by the Cabinet for late next month.

Commissioned by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Siew is expected to present a research report conducted jointly by the five think tanks at the July 4 conference.

Part of the content of the report was revealed in advance on Friday, the 25th anniversary of CIER, in which Siew suggested that the government develop the country into a "global center for value-added services."

Given Taiwan's unique economic features, with dynamic small and medium enterprises (SMEs) propelling the indus-tries, Siew suggested that government incentives should not focus on giant corporations but rather on the SMEs, which Siew said can expand the country's room for development and avoid the marginalization of Taiwanese companies.

Noting that the success of future markets will hinge on who can provide the best value-added services to clients, Siew said that Taiwanese companies need not focus on enlarging the scale of their enterprises but should concentrate on upgrading the speed of their services, the number of patents they obtain and their participation rate in the market.

As Taiwan does not have the huge amount of capital needed to support giant companies that are a feature of Japan, South Korea and China, Siew said that Taiwan should emulate countries such as Finland, the Netherlands and Ireland by focusing on its own economic strengths in the face of pressure from its big neighboring countries.

Siew stressed that if the government follows its proposed policies of cultivating talent, upgrading its connections with the rest of the world and promoting brand names, Taiwan might in the coming 10 years see its average economic growth rate top 5 percent, the average unemployment rate reduced to under 4 percent and the creation of some 1.26 million jobs.

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