Taipei Times: The Democratic Progressive Party government has vowed to reinforce its financial reforms to boost foreign investments in Taiwan's stock market [from 20 percent] to 30 percent. How would the government achieve this goal?
\nHu Sheng-cheng (胡勝正): Financial reforms have been a top priority of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration, which has accomplished its first-phase goal, to turn around the distressed financial sector and clean up the nation's bad loans. According to government statistics, the nation's bad-loan ratio has dropped from a peak of 8.04 percent in the first quarter of 2001 [excluding loans under observation] to the current 3.8 percent.
\nThus 2004 will mark a new year for the government to set new goals, including the creation of a profit-making environment to benefit the financial sector.
\nUltimately, we want to develop Taiwan into a regional capital-raising hub, since our expatriate Taiwanese businesses have branched out globally. We also aim to turn the nation into a regional asset-management hub, since many foreign investors are interested in making investments here.
\nTo achieve both goals, a further relaxation of controls on capital flow will be inevitable. This has motivated us to seek advice from the private sector on ways to cut red tape and facilitate a better financial-service and investment environment.
\nTT: Apart from measures to develop capital markets here, do you have any plans to address the importance of financial discipline and to monitor financial institutions' health?
\nHu: To enhance the nation's capital markets, the government aims to facilitate a well-functioning financial supervisory system while adopting deregulatory policies to allow the private sector to prosper.
\nOn July 1, the Cabinet-level Financial Supervisory Board (
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
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