Sat, May 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Inauguration Anniversary: Reforms to continue with tolerance: Premier Lin

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The government would continue reforms with tolerance to ensure the economic and social prosperity of the nation, Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said on Thursday, ahead of the first anniversary of his time in office.

“Reform involves changes to pre-existing traditions and rights, so obstruction and maladjustment are inevitable,” Lin said.

“However, if the reform is headed in the right direction, we must carry it out in a moderate, reasonable and tolerant manner to move the nation forward and renew Taiwan’s ‘development miracle,’” the premier added.

Lin’s Cabinet has experienced a steep decline in popularity as discontent has been brewing nationwide over the government’s handling of pension reform, labor policy, a multibillion-dollar infrastructure program and same-sex marriage.

The Cabinet has achieved results in areas such as energy mix transition, public long-term care services, pension reform and industrial transition to prepare the nation for “green” energy development, an aging population, pension sustainability and industrial innovation, he said.

“Taiwan has been pressured politically and economically over the years by China, which has a disproportionate influence over Taiwan due to its size, population and economy,” Lin said.

Taiwan’s growth is reliant on economic development and democratization, which would be the government’s priorities to develop the nation, he said.

To sustain the economic growth achieved since last year, it is necessary to boost private investment with government-led infrastructure and industrial development projects, for which the Cabinet has rolled out the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and the “five plus two” innovative industries plan, Lin said.

The “five plus two” innovative industries refers to the development of an “Asian Silicon Valley,” “intelligent” machinery, “green” energy technology, biomedicine and national defense, as well as a new agricultural business model and a circular economy.

To minimize investment uncertainty, the environmental assessment system is to be revised to shorten the review process to under a year, Lin said, adding that the government would reduce the risk of land acquisition for industrial use, and ensure an uninterrupted supply of water and electricity.

“Too much government regulation has led to high compliance costs for businesses,” Lin said, adding that the Cabinet would continue to lift restrictions.

The Executive Yuan has also submitted a draft act to recruit skilled foreign workers to improve the nation’s competitiveness and business opportunities, he added.

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