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President Ma attends 2011 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference

President Ma Ying-jeou on the morning of October 19 attended the 2011 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference, during which he pointed out Taiwan's four major advantages as an investment destination. In urging foreign companies to come here to invest, the president explained that Taiwan represents a "dual engine of investment and exports," "has a very good investment climate," "has unlimited potential in the wake of the signing of the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)," and "now is the best time to invest in Taiwan."
The president stated that Taiwan's economy several decades ago was built on small- and medium-sized enterprises that helped to create opportunities for the nation throughout the world. For the past 20 years, however, the main engine of economic growth has been the high-tech electronics industry, which has established itself as an international powerhouse. In the future, he said, Taiwan's economic development will be jointly driven by investment and exports. Last year, he pointed out, Taiwan saw not only an enormous rise in exports, but also a growth in domestic investment of 32.5% from the previous year, which was a 45-year high. In other words, he explained, the motor driving Taiwan's economic growth is not only exports, but also domestic investment.
President Ma stated that Taiwan has outstanding and well-educated human resources. This is Taiwan's "talent advantage," he noted. In addition, Taiwan is situated in the center of East Asia. Taipei's downtown Songshan Airport has direct flights to Tokyo's downtown Haneda Airport and Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport. This constitutes a "geo-economic advantage," he said. In the future, we will continue to make efforts to initiate direct flights between Songshan Airport and Seoul's Gimpo International Airport in order to create a "golden aviation loop in Northeast Asia." The president reported that the government has also reduced the business income tax to 17% from 25%, which has enhanced Taiwan's industrial competitiveness.
President Ma told the audience that last year Taiwan and mainland China inked the ECFA, and this has changed the role that Taiwan plays in the international economy. Statistics show that from January to August of this year, Taiwan's exports to mainland China have grown significantly in terms of volume. Of this, export items from Taiwan to the mainland that were included on the early harvest list have risen by nearly 13%. At the same time, we are actively participating in regional economic integration, he said. The president pointed out that recently Taiwan and Japan signed Taiwan-Japan Bilateral Investment Arrangement and that we are currently engaged in negotiations with Singapore on an economic cooperation agreement. He indicated that Taiwan also desires to discuss similar accords with other countries.
President Ma stressed that over the past three-plus years, the government has actively promoted the "six emerging industries" initiative, as well as the "four emerging smart industries" and the "ten key service industries. " Altogether, this includes 32 projects. All of these are being carried out with the hope of creating a solid foundation to boost the quality of life for the public and enhance national competitiveness, as well as to attract investment from companies here and overseas.
The president reiterated that Taiwan has a number of strengths, including its advantageous geographic location, abundant human resources and outstanding investment conditions. Taiwan's investment climate is the third best in the world according to Business Environment Risk Intelligence, he said. This indicates that now is the perfect time for foreign companies to invest in Taiwan. The government, he added, will continue to create a stable, peaceful, and safe investment environment, paving the way for economic prosperity.
【Source: Office of the President】