Economic zones to host agriculture park: minister

27 March 2013

Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji
Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) yesterday confirmed that Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park will be included in the planned free economic demonstration zones.

According to the administrators of the park, which has currently approved the residency of 78 firms, its annual output has reached NT$3 billion.

The park encompasses six industrial clusters, including “natural health and beauty industry,” “fisheries and aquaculture biotechnology industry,” “bioagricultural materials industry,” “animal biotechnology industry,” “biotech testing and OEM/ODM service industry,” and “energy conservation, environmental control and agricultural facilities industry.”

When asked if the park’s inclusion will mask the actual value of the planned zones, Chen said that the government will give extra assistance to the park’s industries by expanding their reach to the international market.

The Executive Yuan is slated to hold discussions on the free economic demonstration zone project today.

In response to the news of the park’s inclusion, experts voiced concern about duty-free raw materials penetrating the local market, affecting the island’s agricultural industry.

The experts said that firms within the zones will enjoy the right to import duty-free raw materials, and because of Kaohsiung harbor’s soaring realty prices, portions of the zones will have to be established elsewhere, and without tight supervision, duty-free raw materials may penetrate the local market.

In response, Chen said that the government will come up with corresponding plans, and that he believes the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), the main government body in charge of the project, will ensure that precautionary measures are taken.

Gov’t Won’t Allow Mainland Produce in Taiwan: Premier

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said that although the government will allow high-quality agricultural produce from mainland China to be processed in Taiwan, it will not allow the finished products to be sold on the island.

During an interpellation session at the Legislature, Kuomintang lawmaker Chang Chia-chun (張嘉郡) asked if the government will allow the 830 currently banned agricultural products from mainland China to be processed in the zones.

Chang further asked if the processed products would be labeled as “Made in Taiwan.”

In response, Jiang said that the 830 items will remain banned in Taiwan, and that the zones are established upon the principle of being within the island’s territory but outside of its customs borders.

Jiang explained that the Cabinet understands the concerns of farmers, and will not allow their fears to come true.

CEPD Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) added that although according to current regulations, 10 percent of products processed in Taiwan may be sold on the island, agricultural products are excluded from this quota.

Jiang further stated that products processed in Taiwan will of course be labeled as “Made in Taiwan,” and that the government will help ensure quality control in order to maintain the “Made in Taiwan” brand image: World Agriculture. Source China Post,

Published:  Zarai Media Team

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