Wed, Aug 22, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Premier vows less financial restrictions

BETTER RULES:In a symposium about reviving the economy, consensus was reached on issues facing the banking, securities and insurance industries in dealing with China

By Shih Hsu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Premier Sean Chen, center, waves to other participants at a Cabinet-organized symposium on financial issues in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday vowed to relax restrictions on financial exchanges between Taiwan and China to develop the financial sector and industries “with cross-strait characteristics,” as well as a wealth management platform favored by Taiwanese.

At a three-hour closed-door meeting, “there was a high level of consensus” on the 26 agenda items to resolve major issues facing the banking, securities and insurance industries, Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Chen Yuh-chang (陳裕璋) told a press conference.

The meeting, presided over by Sean Chen, was attended by 42 representatives from the financial sector representing 11 associations and officials from related agencies. It was the third of a series of five symposiums aimed at devising plans to revive the economy.

In view of the increasingly close economic and trade relationships between Taiwan and China, Sean Chen ordered the establishment of an inter-governmental task force to promote cross-strait activities in financial services, to boost the industry and expand its services for Taiwanese individuals and businesses based in China.

The government would seek early completion of ongoing negotiations with China on an agreement on cross-strait currency clearance and of talks to allow domestic banks to conduct yuan business, while it would also allow domestic banks to cooperate with counterparts in China so that people can use domestic financial cards to make card payments and cash withdrawals in China, Chen Yuh-chang said.

Taiwan Securities Association chairman Hwang Min-juh (黃敏助) said he appreciated that the government agreed to the suggestions that securities dealers would be allowed to provide offshore securities trading and that China-based Taiwanese businesses would be allowed to launch primary listings on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Chen Yuh-chang said that the government is also aiming to make institutions in the nation’s financial sector the best choice in wealth management for Taiwanese.

The strategy is to divert local customers from offshore companies to local companies to boost the development of local financial institutions and to cultivate talents, he said.

Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China chairman Hsu Shu-po (許舒博) said that insurance companies would like to make investments in public infrastructure projects and community healthcare projects for the growing elderly population — the implementation of which has been long delayed because of the government’s dire financial position.

On average, insurance companies in Taiwan receive revenue of NT$2 trillion (US$66.8 billion) annually, while only less than 1 percent of its disposable funds, or about NT$1.2 trillion, is used in public infrastructure projects, Hsu said.

“If the government relaxes the rules on investments made by insurance companies in public constructions, we can contribute to boost economic growth and improve unemployment problems,” he said.

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