Insufficient domestic investment has led to considerable talent outflows, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said on Saturday, adding that greater financial innovation and additional fiscal reforms are needed amid the escalating US-China trade dispute.
Lee made the remarks in a speech transcript delivered by Taiwan Research Institute founder Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) at the opening of a two-day economic forum in Taipei.
Lee had planned to attend the forum, but canceled on doctors’ advice given the cool weather.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The forum, titled “Investment, innovation and a vigorous Taiwan,” was organized by the Taiwan Association of University Professors and the Lee Teng-hui Foundation.
Taiwan has fostered many talented people, but has not treated them well, prompting many to seek better opportunities in other countries, Lee said.
Foreign investment in Taiwan is declining, but the ratio of fixed investment to GDP also dropped to 20.9 percent in 2016, the lowest among the four “Asian Tigers” — Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, Lee said.
With the worsening trade war between the US and China — Taiwan’s major trading partners — the nation needs more reforms to boost its own economy, he said.
Investment in infrastructure and forward-looking infrastructure are insufficient, and the legal and policy frameworks have failed to keep up with local innovation efforts, which are gaining momentum, Lee said, calling for fiscal reform and reforms in the financial sector.
Economic growth reached 2 percent thanks to the booming export trade, but Taiwan might become another Philippines if domestic investment remains sluggish, Liu said, adding that the government should promote public investment.
The ratio of domestic savings to investment has surged from 0.32 percent during Lee’s presidency to 15.56 percent last year, meaning that the nation has more savings than investment spending, Liu said.
Excess savings might exceed NT$3 trillion (US$96.76 billion) this year, which is a waste of financial resources, Liu said, adding that another financial storm might be looming if the problem of excess savings is not properly addressed.
Having also attended the forum, Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), chairman of the state-run Taiwan Investment Management Corp, said that many entities have savings that should be put to better use, citing the NT$6.7 trillion in assets of state-run Chunghwa Post and the more than NT$50 billion in aggregate assets of irrigation associations.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu