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One-third Taiwan firms in China face closure: report
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Sept 27, 2012


Asia must make money, not trouble: Thai PM
New York (AFP) Sept 26, 2012 - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Wednesday that Asia's emerging economies can help the troubled global economy, but warned against allowing conflict in the seas around China from derailing development.

"The Asia Pacific region is a key engine of the global economy," she said in New York in a talk at the Asia Society.

However, the standoff between China and several neighbors over disputed islands must be resolved, she warned.

"We will not be successful in promoting economic development and prosperity if there are tensions," she said, adding Thailand was "determined to do what we can" to defuse the situation.

"We believe that maritime areas such as the South China Sea should be seen as an area of... potential."

China is in an increasingly terse dispute with Japan over ownership of islands in the East China Sea, while there are also disputes with Vietnam and other countries in the South China Sea.

Thailand's own economy took a hit after violent protests in 2010, but has settled down, Shinawatra said.

"After several years of the political unrest, Thailand is experiencing a much welcomed period of stability," she said, noting that GDP growth of between 5.5 and six percent was expected in 2012.

She also highlighted the opening up of Myanmar as a positive development for the region's economy.

"We are confident that this change will benefit the people of Myanmar, as well as the economy of the whole region."

Taiwan's intelligence chief on Thursday warned that one in every three Taiwanese companies based in China are facing closure this year due to rapidly decreasing profits, a media reports said.

Another 30 percent of Taiwanese firms are also "struggling" in China, Tsai Der-sheng, head of the National Security Bureau, told a parliamentary session without giving details, the United Evening News reported.

"There is both risk and opportunity to invest in China. However, we can not deny the benefits of economic exchanges between Taiwan and China despite the growing risks," he was quoted by Taiwanese news radio BCC as saying.

The bureau's officials were not immediately available for comment.

Taiwanese firms are facing rising labour costs in China since 2008 under new rules requiring fewer working hours and higher pay, according to a report by the bureau cited by the media.

"This year is particularly grave for Taiwanese businesses amid rising wages and growing production costs in China due to new government rules.

"Also the general investment climate is worsening under global economic problems," said William Chao, secretary-general of Dongguan Taiwanese Businessmen Investment Association in southern China.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, and Beijing has refused to renounce its use of force to take the self-ruled island if necessary.

Despite lingering tensions, Taiwan has been a major investor in China in recent years, providing more than $100 billion in financing, according to some estimates, as well as crucial technological know-how.

Last year, the island's authorities approved 575 China-bound investment cases totalling $13.1 billion, officials said.

Ties between the two sides have improved markedly since the Beijing-friendly Ma Ying-jeou took power in Taiwan in 2008, leading to the signing of 18 deals to boost trade and civil exchanges.

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TRADE WARS
Asia must make money, not trouble: Thai PM
New York (AFP) Sept 26, 2012
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Wednesday that Asia's emerging economies can help the troubled global economy, but warned against allowing conflict in the seas around China from derailing development. "The Asia Pacific region is a key engine of the global economy," she said in New York in a talk at the Asia Society. However, the standoff between China and several neighbors o ... read more


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