Wed, Jan 20, 2010 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: ECFA debate should be refocused, academic says


An ECFA can neither solve the problem of unemployment and capital outflows, nor attract Taiwanese businessmen to re-invest in Taiwan, he said, unless Taiwan is equipped with fine-tuned policies on labor, industrial parks, environmental protection and tax incentives.

It is wrong to place the agreement with China at the focus of Taiwan’s national development strategy. Taiwan needs an alternative plan including industry upgrades and the establishing pioneering sectors, Lo said.

It is the government’s responsibility to identify what those sectors are and play a major role in fostering their development, he said.

“There’s not one country I know of that formulates its national policy on outbound investment. What Taiwan needs to do is to attract foreign direct investment and create jobs,” Lo said.

“Businessmen will always go for profit and short-term goals, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But a government has to look at this from a long-term perspective,” Lo said.

There is always the possibility that China is engaged in the negotiations for more than economic benefits, Lo said, adding that China would still eye the eventual goal of political gain.

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