Thu, Aug 09, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Lai says investor barriers in industry being handled

By Lee Hsin-fang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The government is addressing deficiencies in the nation’s industrial environment to encourage investment, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said in an interview on Tuesday, seeking to allay concerns.

“People should put their minds at ease, and invest in Taiwan with confidence,” Lai told Unique Satellite TV.

The so-called “five shortages” — water, electricity, workers, land and talent — hindering investment are being dealt with, he said.

Having first told industry leaders at a news conference after taking office on Sept. 8 last year that he would clear the way for greater investment in Taiwan, Lai said that some investors still did not fully understand the government’s actions.

Several industry leaders have brought up the shortages over and over again, he said.

“I would really like to speak with them one-on-one and clearly present the situation,” Lai said. “There is really no need to worry.”

The government has made rapid progress in tackling the shortages — already solving several problems facing industries — but some businesses do not even notice when problems are fixed, he said.

A government task force has been promoting investment in the nation and is working to resolve obstacles to investment, he said, adding that the group is empowered to make changes on his behalf to speed up progress.

“We implemented this mechanism because we are aware that this is a make or break moment,” Lai said.

Industry has been talking about these shortages for at least a decade and the administration has already made progress, despite its short time in office, he said, but added that skeptics remain.

When asked about exchange rates, Lai said that while a depreciated New Taiwan dollar helps exports, it also causes the price of commodities to increase, adding that a stable currency would be best for the public.

The central bank has successfully kept the NT dollar stable, while other currencies have felt the effects of the US-China trade dispute, he said.

Taiwan’s stock exchange is also stable, because the nation’s economy is performing well and production is strong, he said, adding that the central bank’s policies are sound.

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