Premier Chen highlights Taiwan’s policy challenges

Chen Chun (aka Sean Chen), born in 1949/10/13, recently became the premier of Taiwan’s cabinet after President Ma’s reelection.

Major policy challenges for Taiwan include U.S. beef imports, trade relations and how to reduce the wealth gap and north-south imbalance, ROC Premier Sean C. Chen told media Feb. 15.

Chen said he has handed the matter of beef imports over to experts to assess and cannot form a position on the issue in advance. However, he stated that he would provide a clear explanation on the ins and outs of the use of leanness-enhancing feed additive ractopamine in the U.S. and EU, and a review of its ban in Taiwan. If there was no solid basis for the initial decision to ban it, further assessment would be required, he added.

Regarding foreign economic and trade relations, Chen said Taiwan needs “a new wave of economic transformations,” including adjustments to the industrial structure, a raise in the proportional weight of the nonmanufacturing sector to the overall economy to increase employment opportunities, and diversification of exports and export destinations. As for cross-strait economic and trade ties, he continued, risk management should be enhanced.

Chen further stated that Taiwan needs to sign more free trade agreements “to implement the spirit of the World Trade Organization,” so as to avoid being elbowed out by other countries that have inked such accords.

When considering what kind of foreign and mainland Chinese capital to allow into Taiwan, and into which specific industries, Chen continued, the government should think about the issue from an overall national strategic point of view, by assessing whether a planned move would in fact be beneficial to Taiwan. He added that the opening of the country should not be restricted to the flat panel, wafer, light-emitting diode, or LED, and solar power sectors alone.

On whether to negotiate the signing of a cross-strait currency clearance agreement, Chen pointed out that delays by the two sides in pursuing such an accord are not due to political factors, but instead to the fact that mainland China does not want to completely open up this mechanism, noting that Beijing has signed very few such pacts with other countries to date.

Chen noted that the government is mapping out measures to solve regional north-south imbalances within Taiwan. For example, he said, the government plans to set up free economic zones, and is promoting the establishment of an Executive Yuan office for the counties of Yunlin, Chiayi and Nantou, and one for the counties of Kaohsiung, Pingtung and Penghu.

The premier said taxation could be used to narrow the wealth gap, by imposing higher rates on higher income earners. Social relief measures to redistribute wealth and raising the incomes of those at the lower end of the ladder are other possible solutions, he added.

Table 1. Biography of Chen Chun

Education

1971

LL.B.,National Taiwan University

1973

LL.M.,National Taiwan University

1977-1978

DAAD Visiting Scholar,Frankfurt University,Germany
Experience

1975-1984

Management Positions with Taipei Bank and Farmers Bank of China

1985-1988

Vice President and Head of Loan Committee, Farmers Bank ofChina

1988-1989

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Strategic Planning, Farmers Bank ofChina

1989

Executive Secretary, Legal Affairs Committee, Ministry of Finance, Executive Yuan (MOF)

1989-1994

Deputy Director-General, Bureau of Monetary Affairs, MOF

1994-1995

Director-General, Department of Insurance, MOF

1995-1998

Director-General, Bureau of Monetary Affairs, MOF

1998-2002

Deputy Minister of Finance

2002-2004

Chairman, Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation

2004-2007

Chairman, Taiwan Cooperative Bank

2007-2008

Chairman, KGI Securities Company Limited

2008

Chairman, SinoPac Holdings

2008-2010

Minister, Financial Supervisory Commission, Executive Yuan

2010-2012
2010-2011

Vice Premier; and concurrently Minister, Consumer Protection Commission, Executive Yuan

2012.2.6 –

Premier

Source: http://www.gio.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=106865&ctNode=2462&mp=807; http://www.ey.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=86851&ctNode=1328&mp=11

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