Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday reiterated his call for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) to invest more in Taiwan, after the tycoon criticized the nation’s business sector.
During a visit to Yunlin County Commissioner Chang Li-shan (張麗善) on Monday, Gou said Taiwan’s industries are not just suffering from the so-called “five shortages” of land, talent, labor, electricity and water, but also from a lack of investment and a president who “understands the economy.”
Su was quick to respond on Monday, by saying that Gou should “do more, not just talk,” and invest more in Taiwan, noting that Gou’s company has billions of US dollars invested in the US.
Photo: Hsieh Wu-hsiung, Taipei Times
During an inspection tour of Taoyuan yesterday to see the extent of agricultural losses caused by Monday’s heavy downpour, Su said that he had not “castigated” Gou, as some media reports have claimed.
“Gou is a dynamo who has been likened to the ‘Genghis Khan of the business world,’” Su said.
“My words were aimed at encouraging him to invest more in Taiwan, because he is richer than any person [in Taiwan],” Su said. “Taiwan could use some major investment.”
A program encouraging Taiwanese firms to return and invest at home in light of the US-China trade dispute has exceeded the government’s target of NT$250 billion (US$7.95 billion) and is nearing NT$300 billion, Su said.
In addition, international technology giants such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook have increased their investments in the nation, he said.
These firms have seen the government’s resolve to boost investment and so should Gou, he added.
“I do not know if his aides put those words [in Gou’s mouth]. It is not good to criticize when you are a neophyte running for [office] the first time,” Su said. “If he takes action to invest in Taiwan, he will likely win the praise of many.”
Asked about Gou saying that the amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) were “neither fish nor fowl” and have not altered the direction of old labor rules, Su said that if people had good suggestions, they should put them forward.
Gou’s criticism was a departure from the facts, as Tsai’s administration has hiked the minimum wage, improved the nation’s investment environment and offered tax breaks to many people, while the unemployment rate is at an 18-year low, Su said.
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