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UPDATED: 13:50, July 08, 2004
China's mainland a stage on which Taiwan businessmen to have best performance
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China's mainland market is 60 times that of the market in China's Taiwan. While the whole world is advancing toward the mainland the Taiwan authority should not go against the trend; the mainland is the stage on which Taiwan businessmen can have the best performance. The Taiwan authority should unbind its policy regarding the mainland and open "three direct links" as soon as possible.

Above are words by Gao Qingyuan, board chairman of Taiwan Uni-President Enterprises, during an interview by the media on the island.

It was learned that since the initiation of Uni-President 37 years ago employees have increased from 82 to 70,000 persons and its annual turnover has increased from 57 million New Taiwan Dollars to this year's 250 billion New Taiwan Dollars. Its business scope expanded from flour and oily foods to finance, investment, construction, electronics and semiconductor industries. Gao Qingyuan built up from nothing an industrial kingdom that spans the two shores and grows rapidly.

The policy regarding the mainland should be unbound
Uni-President has worked hard in the mainland for years. When interviewed by the media Gao Qingyuan talked mostly about his direct experience in "tending business between the two shores".

Gao Qingyuan said the whole world is paying attention to the mainland market except China's Taiwan, which still tightens its economic and trade policy across the straits. Taiwan business circles have urged repeatedly that the mainland policy should be unbound and that "three direct links" should be opened as soon as possible. According to statistics once "three direct links" were opened Taiwan companies could save 50 to 80 billion New Taiwan Dollars in expenditure.

He said Taiwan business circles are composed largely of small-medium sized enterprises, which usually have difficulties to compete on the international market with large companies from other countries and regions, whilst the mainland is the place where Taiwan businessmen can give full play to their abilities. If "three direct links" could be opened and become "free links" it would greatly increase Taiwan businessmen's competitiveness.

Gao Qingyuan said some people claim that "three direct links" would affect Taiwan security. I really don't understand this. Would "three direct links" really affect security? To set up restrictions for political reasons is really a shame.

Mainland market takes more than 20 years to exploit
Gao Qingyuan said the mainland market is 60 times that of Taiwan's. In the past people in the mainland were weak in purchasing power. However since the opening up the purchasing power there has generally grown. Europe, the US and Japan all attach great importance to this market with its 1.3 billion population. Why does Taiwan go against the trend? The authority should not lay restriction everywhere. It should allow small-medium sized enterprises to make full use of the mainland resources.

Gao Qingyuan said after the mainland became a member of the WTO the market there has become more open. By the end of this year the mainland will allow foreign investment to enter the retail industry. Uni-President should by no means give up such a large market. A market of a scale such as that of the mainland takes more than 10 or 20 years to exploit even if a full-scale operation strategy is adopted.

He believes the authority's opening of mainland policies is not timely effective. While the mainland's 12-inch wafer plant is about to come into existence Taiwan has just open the west movement of 8-inch plant. It is too far from timeliness. For an enterprise time is very important. The authority should separate politics from economy and should not let one affect the other.

Taiwan businessmen's will not affected
Regarding the statements by Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council that those who make money in the Chinese mainland but support the "Taiwan Independence" are not welcome, Gao Qingyuan believes business companies had better not touch politics. If Taiwan companies do not help "Taiwan Independence" they won't have problems. Now enterprises have understood the attitude of the mainland. He believes it won't affect Taiwan businessmen's investment will.

Recently China's mainland is implementing macro-economic controls, which gave rise to different interpretations on the island. Gao Qingyuan said the mainland, since the opening up, has kept an annual economic growth rate at around 8 percent or even higher. The objective of the macro-controls is to cool down the temperature and avoid economic overheating. It also indicates that the mainland economic development is rather good and people's living standards are rising. Gao Qingyuan believes the mainland's economy will keep on growing, national income and consumption power will rise further and domestic market will also grow.

By People's Daily Online

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