Morris Chang to be deputy convener of advisory panel

The China Post staff

Highly respected industry leader Morris Chang yesterday accepted the invitation from Presidential Secretary General Yu Shyi-kun to serve as the deputy convener of an organizing panel for the presidential economic development advisory committee. Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), expressed his deep worries about the current weakening economic and financial situations in Taiwan and the prospects. He said he decided to accept the position because he feels that “people who care about Taiwan’s economic and financial development should now express their views and do something.” Although he will attend the discussions of the presidential economic development advisory committee as a representative from the high-tech industry, Chang stressed, he will set sights on the healthy development of all industries for the benefits of national economy. He expressed hope that other members on the committee will hold the similar views. Premier Chang Chung-hsiung will serve as convener for the organizing panel to chair the first preparatory meeting on July 8.

Chang will be the only deputy convener from non-political circles as an “impartial member of the public.” Chang formerly headed the Industrial Technology Research Institute and is well respected as a management guru. His successful leadership also won him the nickname as “the father of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.”

The other four will be assigned by four major political parties — the Kuomintang, Democratic Progressive Party, People First Party and the New Party. The parties will officially name their representatives to the panel before afternoon today.

Legislator Lai Shyh-bao of New Party and Lei Chien, a senior media executive and a legislative candidate in December election, will represent the party on the preparatory panel. The party’s other delegate could be Fei Hung-tai, the deputy speaker of Taipei City Council. Lai said the NP will push for opening “three direct links” with mainland China and easing restrictions on inflow of mainland Capital into Taiwan. The government should also delegate local-level governments to offer investment incentives to attract more investors. Presidential Secretary General Yu yesterday also invited Jeffrey Koo, chairman of the Chinese National Association of Industry & Commerce and Chinatrust Commercial Bank to sit on the organizing panel. Other members will include heads of other major business and industry organizations. The non-partisan alliance in the Legislative Yuan has recommended Wang You-theng, head of the Rebar Group and honorary chairman of the ROC General Chamber of Commerce, and Legislator Chen Chao-ming (who is deputy convener of the alliance’s legislative caucus) as representatives on the panel. There are widespread speculations that President Chen had initially planned to invite chairman Wang Yung-ching of the Formosa Plastics Group to be deputy convener of the organizing panel. However, Chen later decided to dump Wang after the industry leader severely criticized the performance of the DPP government in the past year, especially the standstill in the easing of curbs on Taiwan enterprises’ investments in the mainland.