Sun, Mar 04, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chen presides over shipbuilder's name change ceremony

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday encouraged CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台灣國際造船) to work toward greater heights during a plaque-unveiling ceremony for the renamed state-owned company.

The president, accompanied by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), CSBC chairman Lu Feng-hai (盧峰海) and Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆), presided over the name-changing ceremony to formally shed its original name of China Shipbuilding Corp (CSBC, 中國造船).

Chen said the name-change was not made out of "ideological" concerns and expressed hope that the new name would help revive the company's past glory.

CSBC Corp, Taiwan is one of a series of state-owned enterprises that have changed their names recently under the government's campaign to remove the words "China" or "Chinese" from their official titles and add or substitute it with the word "Taiwan."

The government has said that the campaign was aimed at avoiding confusion with similarly named companies in China and to underscore Taiwan-centric consciousness by showing that they are Taiwanese firms.

Chen noted that in 2000, CSBC posted losses of NT$6.7 billion (US$203.03 million) and was in danger of being closed down until then-minister of economic affairs Lin Hsin-i (林信義) promoted a restructuring plan for the company by laying off half of its employees and slashing salaries by 35 percent for those who remained.

The government also augmented its capital by NT$3 billion and an Executive Yuan fund pumped in NT$3.1 billion, which he said helped the company back to its feet.

The company has been in the black since 2002 and reported a surplus of NT$1.49 billion last year, he added.

He lauded CSBC for being a new business model after the restructuring program, saying it reported a net profit of NT$200 million in January and is expected to post profits of NT$3 billion for the full year.

"The public should have faith in Taiwan and in the performance of the Cabinet under Su's leadership," he said.

With the recent name changing of several state-owned enterprises -- including Taiwan Post Co (臺灣郵政), from Chunghwa Post Co (中華郵政), and Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中國石油) to CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) -- the president said those enterprises that need to change their names should not use stalling tactics, adding that they have to "insist on and implement Taiwan-centric consciousness."

Meanwhile,Lu reported that the company's orderbook is full through 2010, making it the fourth-largest in the world by number of orders. The company ranks 18th in terms of shipbuilding volume, he added.

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