Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday said that if elected president, he would encourage the approximately 50 million overseas Chinese worldwide to invest in Taiwan.
Their investment would help young people’s start-ups and make Taiwan “the second Israel,” the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate told a Taipei forum on start-ups and innovation.
Given Taiwan’s small domestic market of 23 million people, young people often encounter difficulties finding investors during the seed stage, Han said.
Photo: Hsu Li-chuan, Taipei Times
While Tel Aviv is even smaller, it has developed an impressive start-up scene due to well-designed government policies and funding from Jewish people abroad, he said.
Taiwan offers an equally strong business environment, but the government must take steps to encourage overseas Chinese to invest in the nation to help with the development of start-ups and education, he said.
With about 50 million overseas Chinese worldwide, “if they invest their money in the nation, can we not be the second Israel?” he asked.
“We have so many resources, but we have been wasting them because we were unaware,” he said, adding that Taiwan is in fact “stronger than the ocean.”
If elected, he would do his best to foster young talent and set up a NT$10 trillion (US$331.11 billion) sovereign wealth fund to assist the development of start-ups, he said.
Han’s future administration would also relax investment laws, establish a digital innovation committee under the Executive Yuan, build training centers for young talent and improve the nation’s high-tech infrastructure, Han’s policy advisory team said.
At the event, Han also sang a self-adapted version of the military song I Am Going to War Now (我現在要出征), which he sang in October when announcing that he would go on a nearly three-month leave for his election campaign.
“I am going to make money now, I have a wife and two kids to feed,” he sang.
Asked after the event about his low support rating among younger people, Han said that if young people learn more about him, they would understand that he cares more about their development than anyone else.
“You do not have to vote for Han Kuo-yu, but you must look at his platform,” he said, adding that no harm would come from comparing candidates’ policy plans.
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