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Officials discuss free economic zones via web meeting
Central News Agency
2014-05-28 11:19 PM
Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Government officials held a web meeting Wednesday to communicate with netizens on issues related to Taiwan's free economic pilot zones, in the first such forum. The webinar, organized by the National Development Council, was attended by the council's minister Kuan Chung-ming, Council of Agriculture head Chen Bao-ji and other government officials. The forum was aimed at helping the public better understand the free economic zones. Kuan said it was just the beginning of a series of public outreach programs. In response to concerns about Chinese investment in the free economic zones, Kuan said the Ministry of Economic Affairs has a mechanism in place to screen Chinese investment projects. Any investment that could affect Taiwan's national security, public security or Taiwanese industrial supply chains would be ruled out, he added. Some netizens asked about the connection between Taiwan's bid to join the proposed regional trade blocs Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the establishment of the free economic zones. Kuan responded that the free economic zones demonstrate Taiwan's determination to push for trade liberalization, which will help Taiwan's bid to join regional economic integration. Other netizens expressed worry that the establishment of free economic zones would affect sales of Taiwan's agricultural products. But Chen said Taiwan's agricultural sector will benefit from the establishment of a platform in the zones where international buyers can make purchases. A total of 69 questions, mostly about education, talent, health, medical care, taxes and land, were submitted by Internet users May 22-27 for the web meeting. (By Milly Lin and Elaine Hou)
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