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Wed, Mar 20, 2002 - Page 18 News List

UPS says it's not leaving

RUMOR DISPELLED Far from withdrawing from Taiwan due to a lack of direct links to China, the company says it will expand its hub at Chiang Kai-shek International

By Lin Miao-jung  /  STAFF REPORTER WITH AGENCIES

The head of the United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Taiwan told the Taipei Times yesterday that the company would upgrade its Asia Pacific Hub at Taiwan's Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in April.

UPS Managing Director Benjamin Choi (蔡永瓏) made the statement after reports in Taiwan's Chinese-language media yesterday that the company was making plans to withdraw from Taiwan after opening a new transshipment center at Clark Airport, the former US Air Force base in the Philippines, because of the absence of direct transport services between Taiwan and China.

"Taiwan's transshipment center will become predominantly an inter-continental center delivering to and from Europe and the Americas. The new center in the Philippines, to be called the Intra-Asia Hub, however, will be a regional-level hub from which freight is transported within Asia, though the center in Taiwan will continue to serve some Asian destinations," Choi said.

He said an additional 12 weekly flights will service the Taiwan center from next month and that an additional four weekly flights will be added by the end of this year. There are currently 76 weekly flights into and out of the hub.

He added that although the new center in the Philippines is scheduled to open April 1, the two centers "cannot replace or compare to each other."

The purpose of the center in the Philippines, Choi said, is to provide better service for the customers within Asia.

The company's Asia-Pacific Hub was established in Taiwan in 1997 to serve as both an inter-continental and intra-Asia transshipment center.

UPS operates over 500 flights per day between more than 200 countries, delivering over 13 million packages and documents per day.

The Clark Airport center will be the company's second transshipment center in Asia.

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also commented on the issue yesterday, saying that companies make investments on the basis of their own logic and considerations.

"The absence [of direct air links] may be a factor [for companies to leave Taiwan], but I don't think it would be a primary element," Tsai said.

She also reaffirmed the government's commitment to establishing direct transport links with China saying, "That was the consensus reached at the Economic Development Advisory Conference (經發會), and we will certainly follow that consensus."

Meanwhile, CEPD Vice Chairwoman Ho Mei-yue (何美玥) said that Taiwan should be able to maintain its competitive edge as a global transshipment center due to geographic and logistical advantages.

"The UPS move was to help boost Taiwan to a status similar to that of Germany in Europe or the United States in the Americas," Ho said.

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