Taipei 101 fireworks show gets go ahead


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Taipei 101 skyscraper has raised the funds needed to hold its renowned annual fireworks show, Minister of Finance Sheu Yu-jer said Monday.

Speaking at a hearing held by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Yuan, Sheu said the company has raised the NT$45 million (US$1.41 million) needed to cover the budget for the New Year’s fireworks show.

The government is the largest shareholder of Taipei Financial Center Corp. (TFCC), which operates Taipei 101, with a 44.35 percent stake.

On behalf of the largest shareholder of Taipei 101, Sheu said the Tourism Bureau will contribute up to NT$20 million, as it has in the past, while the business sector has pledged to provide the rest of the funding.

Taipei 101 also spent NT$45 million on its New Year’s fireworks show last year, which lasted 238 seconds and involved a total of 30,000 fireworks.

Now in its 13th year, the Taipei 101 fireworks display is one of the most watched New Year’s events in Taiwan, attracting millions of people to join a countdown in the capital city and revel in the atmosphere.

But it has struggled to find sponsors in recent years, leading TFCC to discuss the idea of replacing the fireworks with lights.

Taipei 101 spokesman Michael Liu said his company has worked hard to raise the funds for the big show and secured commitments from some private enterprises with assistance from the Ministry of Finance.

Since Taipei 101 is still in talks to finalize the agreements with the private sponsors, Liu declined to disclose their identities or details on how much they were pledging.

Liu said that in addition to the fireworks show, Taipei 101 is also planning a light show for the first time with a total of 800 lights with special effects displayed around the building.