A ministerial-level meeting was convened yesterday by incoming premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) so that the new Cabinet could discuss major policy goals and an agenda, incoming Council for Economic Planning and Development minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) said yesterday.
It was the first time Jiang had invited key figures of the new Cabinet to discuss major policy issues and a future work agenda since he was tapped to succeed former premier Sean Chen (陳冲) late last month, Executive Yuan officials said, adding that Jiang had met with ministerial-level officials individually or in small groups since the Lunar New Year holiday began last weekend.
Chen resigned as premier for health reasons last month and led his Cabinet in resigning en masse on Feb. 7.
A new Cabinet lineup has been finalized and it is due to be sworn in on Monday, the first working day following the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday.
Executive Yuan spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said that the meeting focused on future policy direction and the “free economic demonstration zone” project.
The project, which would ease restrictions on labor recruitment, cash flow and acquisition of land for operations set up within a government-designated “free economic zone,” represents an important milestone in the nation’s economic liberalization, Cheng said.
The government has chosen Greater Kaohsiung for the location of the project, but Cheng declined to say whether any other areas would be added to the project.
Kuan also said in an interview that the meeting was more along the lines of an information sharing session, so that new and old members of the Cabinet could be brought up to speed on current government policies, pointing out as an example that his predecessor Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) had already made some plans concerning the “free economic demonstration zone” project.
Incoming vice premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), Cabinet secretary-general Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) and various ministerial-level officials of the incoming Cabinet attended the meeting, Cheng said, adding that due to the Lunar New Year holiday, Jiang has yet to meet with incoming minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝).
Executive Yuan officials said Jiang is also scheduled to hold a Cabinet orientation meeting next Saturday to discuss various development projects and planned legislation in preparation for the new legislative session, which is due to start on Feb. 26.