Kaohsiung must improve transportation: AmCham

By Joseph Yeh

The China Post — The ongoing nine major infrastructure projects in the southern port city of Kaohsiung clearly demonstrate the local government’s commitment to leading Taiwan’s second-largest city to a brighter future, the American Chamber of Commerce Kaohsiung said in the recently unveiled Southern Taiwan White Paper 2011. However, the AmCham Kaohsiung president Brian Aiello also reminded the city government to tackle some core issues, including improving the city’s traffic accessibility and promoting tourism internationally, in order to build the city into a world-class metropolitan center. “I think these great projects, including building a pop music center and exhibition halls, will help the city tremendously,” Aiello said yesterday to The China Post. Nonetheless, the city government needs to address some issues such as accessibility, transportation infrastructure, parking space and the mass transit system.

Traffic needs to move throughout the city as efficiently as possible if we are to maintain safety standards and prevent excessive air pollution, he added.

Creating more parking spaces and conducting environmental surveys are also required to reach the goal of better understanding future demands for efficient transportation to and from areas of the city where development projects will result in attracting thousands of visitors. Also, the AmCham Kaohsiung president noted that these venues are sure to be beautiful and amazing, yet building them does not guarantee success.

The city authorities should work closely with professional events organizers to publicize the convention centers in the city. ”Let the world know there are world-class venues in Kaohsiung and get the word out,” he noted. He recommended the government learn from the successful experiences of nearby Singapore.

With all of the developments taking place around the city, Aiello also pointed out that the local government has put very little focus on future energy supplies, since the demand for electricity within the city is going to increase. The Kaohsiung city leaders should promote more energy conservation projects by introducing energy-efficient devices, or by introducing other clean energy projects such as solar heating and geo-thermal energy.

The white paper was released last week during a business dinner held by the AmCham Kaohsiung. The White Paper provides private sector recommendations on economic development in light of the Kaohsiung City/County merger last December, as well as recommendations to cover a spectrum of priority issues in Greater Kaohsiung.