Taipei, April 11 (CNA) Kinmen County's government on Friday held a meeting to explain to local residents its plan to establish a free economic pilot zone in the outlying island chain. Hank Huang, a consultant at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, which drafted a plan for Kinmen to set up such an economic zone, said the county decided to focus on industry surrounding liquor, elderly population and international education. At the meeting, Ho Chuan-te, an official of the National Development Council, said Kinmen has unique resources to set up such a zone, which can help speed up local economic development. Ho also suggested the county government should explore all kinds of options and make brave choices, but noted that setting up a free economic pilot zone is only one way to push for development, not an absolute solution to economic issues.
Meanwhile, Ho answered local residents' concerns that the establishment of a free economic pilot zone would likely lead to property market speculation and an inflow of foreign workers. He said the draft act governing the free economic pilot zone includes clauses restricting property market speculation and the introduction of foreign workers. The government has begun work on establishing free economic pilot zones at Taiwan's six major ports, Taoyuan International Airport and the Pingtung Agricultural Biotech Park. The Cabinet passed the draft bill in late December, which awaits the Legislature's approval. (By Chen Shou-gow and Kay Liu)