Two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers from Greater Kaohsiung yesterday questioned whether the municipality has been excluded from location options for an investment by German automaker Volkswagen — an accusation the central government denied.
Legislators Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) and Hsu Chih-chieh (許志傑) told a press conference that only New Taipei City (新北市) officials were invited to a meeting with Volkswagen representatives, Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and government officials on Feb. 1.
The Greater Kaohsiung government has sought to land the possible Volkswagen assembly plant by offering various incentives and land near Gangshan District (岡山) since Beldare Motors — the exclusive distributor of Volkswagen in Taiwan — confirmed early last month that the German automaker was considering building a production line in this country to manufacture 20,000 cars a year by 2015, Chiu said.
As a city known for its manufacturing and industrial development, Greater Kaohsiung has the advantages of air-sea transportation, the support of CPC Corp, Taiwan, and China Steel Corp, Chiu said.
“However, infrastructure, industrial and cultural development in southern Taiwan has long been disregarded due to the government’s ‘northern Taiwan first’ mentality,” he said.
Shen Wei-cheng (沈維正), director-general of the Industrial Development Bureau’s Metal and Mechanical Industries Division, told the press conference that the lawmakers’ accusation was a misunderstanding.
Minister Without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興), a former Kaohsiung County commissioner before the county was merged into Greater Kaohsiung, briefed Volkswagen representatives about southern Taiwan in the Feb. 1 meeting, Shen said.