The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is misleading people ahead of January’s elections with false accusations that the government lied about investments by Taiwanese companies amid the US-China trade dispute, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.
Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, on Tuesday accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of deceiving people by saying that local firms have invested NT$700 billion (US$22.9 million) in the nation.
Former premier Simon Chang (張善政), Han’s running mate, said that local companies would not repatriate money they made in China, as the remittances would be taxed twice — first by Chinese authorities then by Taiwan.
The DPP’s bluff is like the “emperor’s new clothes,” Chang said.
Based on its judgement of changes in the international configuration, President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration this year rolled out its Action Plan to Welcome Taiwanese Companies Reinvesting in Taiwan and the Taiwanese Companies Reinvest in Taiwan 2.0 program, which are separate from the Management, Utilization and Taxation of Repatriated Offshore Funds Act (境外資金匯回管理運用及課稅條例) promulgated in August, Su told a weekly Cabinet meeting in Taipei.
The programs are to encourage local firms that have over the past 20 to 30 years outsourced talent, technological know-how and corporate management capabilities to China to establish operations in Taiwan, Su said.
Bringing assets back to the nation would drive investment, curb a chronic brain drain and improve the nation’s economic resilience, he said.
The act introduced preferential tax rates for companies that repatriate overseas profits as a break from the high rates of the past, which motivated some firms to deposit profits overseas, he said.
Former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration from 2012 to 2014 introduced a plan to encourage repatriation of profits, Su said, adding that it expected to attract NT$240 billion, but only drew NT$150 billion.
Local firms have submitted plans pledging about NT$700 billion, of which NT$225.5 billion is expected to be realized this year, he said, adding that the calculation method adopted by the DPP is exactly the same as that used by the KMT.
The KMT should not distort facts and mislead the public into believing that the DPP’s policies are not working just because the elections are near, which is an ignoble thing to do, he said.
Citing remarks by New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), who on Wednesday thanked the central government for bringing investments to the municipality, Su said that he admired Hou’s matter-of-factness.
Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said that the premier, who on Monday took a leave of absence due to a virus-induced facial palsy, was recovering well and in good health after treatment.
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