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Premier addresses business leaders about economy

As the European debt crisis continues to drag down world economies, the ROC government has initiated programs to promote industrial excellence following the German business model, strengthen workforce cultivation, and enhance regional economic integration, Premier Sean Chen said today. In addition to implementing immediate stimulus measures, the government hopes these short-, mid- and long-term programs will help Taiwan's economy break new ground, he added.

Premier Chen made the remarks while speaking on the government's policies and plans at a meeting of the Third Wednesday Club, an association in Taipei of business heavyweights. Despite the worsening debt crisis, Germany has held up well thanks to a strong vocational education system and the many small and medium-sized enterprises that form the backbone of its economy. Taiwan can learn much from how Germany has handled its economic challenges, he remarked.

For the current stage of Taiwan's economic development, the government has devised a five-pronged strategy encompassing industries, exports, workforce, investments and the government:
• Developing diverse and innovative industries: Promote the "three industries, four reforms" program (referring to the creation of a service-oriented manufacturing industry, an internationalized and high-tech services industry, and a specialty oriented traditional industry) and develop "backbone enterprises."
• Spurring exports and tapping new markets: Emerging markets will be explored while exportable services such as tourism will be developed.
• Strengthening workforce training: Promote technical and vocational education, train workers by specialty, and cultivate talent for emerging markets.
• Encouraging investments in infrastructure: Expand the selection of contractors, and invest medium- and long-term capital into infrastructure projects.
• Enhancing government efficacy at all levels: Strengthen government procurement mechanisms and closer align regulations to changing needs.

The premier also said tourism can be developed into an exportable service as Taiwan has been attracting a growing number of visitors. Last year, tourists made more than 6.08 million visits to Taiwan; for the first six months of 2012, this figure has already reached 3.57 million and may exceed 7 million for the entire year. The next step after raising the quantity of tourists is to improve the quality of tourism, he reiterated.

In closing, Premier Chen said the Executive Yuan is holding a series of five symposiums this month on economic and financial issues facing Taiwan. Industry representatives are invited to discuss their views with government leaders to help in the formulation of more comprehensive policies.
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