The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) came under fire at the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday for the lackluster performance of the nation’s seaports.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) indicated in December last year that cross-strait transportation services would generate income of more than NT$3 billion (US$92.2 million), adding that Ma also said the service would raise Kaohsiung Port’s cargo volume.
Yeh also cited a statement by MOTC Minister Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) last year that said Taichung Port could expand its free-trade zone.
She then asked MOTC Deputy Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) why there had been a sharp decline in the amount of cargo transferred via Kaohsiung Port.
“I just want to know where the ‘big pie’ you painted for us is,” Yeh Yi-jin said. “In my opinion, the direct cross-strait transportation service has created a ‘magnet effect’ that favors the seaports of China. Taiwan has actually been marginalized because of it.”
Yeh Kuang-shih said Kaohsiung Port’s performance would have been worse were it not for cross-strait transportation services.
The MOTC said in a statement yesterday that multiple factors contributed to Kaohsiung Port’s moderate growth in the past five years. These include a number of industries relocating to China and manufacturers choosing to transfer their goods through other seaports.