Kaohsiung plan calls for tourism and recreation

STREETS OF BALTIMORE: A development plan sets the goal of transforming the port city into a commercial area like Baltimore, while maintaining its industrial role

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Wed, Jan 13, 2010 - Page 2

A comprehensive plan for developing Kaohsiung City into an air and marine park by creating recreational facilities while maintaining the city’s business functions will be released within a month, the government’s chief planning agency said on Monday.

Vice Chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Hwang Wang-hsiang (黃萬翔) said the five-year plan, to be released after the Lunar New Year, will aim to strike a balance in development between the north and the south.

The goal is to transform the port city into a commercial area like Baltimore in the US by expanding its services from port trade and business to tourism and recreation, he said.

“There has always been a big development gap between northern and southern Taiwan, and the government is keen to explore the assets of the Kaohsiung area,” he said. “This will be a flagship project in terms of the long-term development program being drawn up by the government for southern Taiwan.”

Hwang said the land in the northern area of Kaohsiung Port would be used for recreational and business facilities, while the existing buildings that house metal, petrochemical and precision machinery industries would be renovated to maintain the port’s city’s role as an industrial stronghold.

As to a trade and commerce park located near Kaohsiung Port, Hwang said the CEPD would suggest that the Ministry of Finance make better use of the land, as 250 hectares within the park are government-owned and have long been left idle.