The US-led administration in Iraq is to establish a major credit facility "within weeks" to lubricate overseas trade after last week's lifting of UN sanctions, its head Paul Bremer announced on Monday. \n"It will be a substantial credit facility that first symbolically indicates to the world that Iraq is open for business and also provides a practical incentive to people who want to trade with Iraq," Bremer told a news conference. \nThe facility will be funded by a raft of private banks as well as the Central Bank of Iraq, he said. \nHe added that a further US$250 million of central bank reserves had been recovered undamaged from the bank's vaults after they had been drained of wartime flooding from the Tigris River by coalition troops over the past week. \n"We are now nearing the end of the first stage of our task here and entering a new stage," said Bremer, noting that government ministries, most power and water supplies, and a new police force were all now up and running. \n"The task now is to help the Iraqis rebuild their economy after decades of state control and mismanagement." \nBremer said the lifting of UN sanctions had been a "big step along this road." \n"Oil revenues will now all be used for the Iraqi people as we work to establish the first free economy here in years," he said. \n"Encouraging robust trade between Iraq and the rest of the world is a key part of our stra-tegy," he said, adding that a market economy was the "best protection for political freedom" in Iraq. \nBremer said the occupation had yet to work out any detailed economic policies, and was still looking at the closely related issues of trade tariffs, currency, and price deregulation. \n"We are in the process now of trying to establish what the relationship should be and what the steps should be. I don't have a preconceived view on that," he said. "Because the economy was so tightly controlled and interlinked, you can't change any one part of it, without changing it all." \nBremer said that for the moment the ration system on which some 60 percent of Iraqis depended for basic goods under former president Saddam Hussein would be preserved. \n"In the long term we would like to see market prices brought into the economy," he said. \n"At this point it would be premature for me to lay down specific guidelines [for foreign investment] and it's a matter that, in the end, an Iraqi government would want to make a contribution to discussing," he said.
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit