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  • President Ma meets with persons designated as models of entrepreneurship
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President Ma meets 2011 Models of Taiwan and Overseas Entrepreneurship. President Ma welcomes 2011 Models of Taiwan and Overseas Entrepreneurship. President Ma Ying-jeou meets 2011 Models of Taiwan and Overseas Entrepreneurship. President Ma Ying-jeou welcomes 2011 Models of Taiwan and Overseas Entrepreneurship.
President Ma Ying-jeou met on the afternoon of March 27 with individuals recognized as 2011 Models of Taiwan and Overseas Entrepreneurship, or have received a 2011 excellent Achievement Award for Models of Taiwan Entrepreneurship. In addition to extending his congratulations to the award winners, the president reiterated that the ROC will continue to seek to participate in regional economic integration and create the conditions that will enable it to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In remarks, the president applauded the award winners for pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and working hard to totally change their situations. President Ma stated that since its establishment 39 years ago, the China Youth Career Development Association has served as an outstanding bridge of communication between the government and enterprises. The organization singled out models of Taiwan entrepreneurship for the 34th time last year, while overseas compatriots were thus honored for the 20th time. Meanwhile, the Excellent Achievement Award for Models of Taiwan Entrepreneurship were handed out for the eighth time. Winners of the awards have been both male and female, which highlights that both genders are able to create successful enterprises.

During the meeting, the president again stressed the importance to the ROC of participating in regional economic integration. He pointed out that in 2000, only five free trade agreements were in place throughout Asia, but today the number of these accords is 67. Taiwan and mainland China two years ago signed the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, which has yielded significant positive results. For instance, in 2011, Taiwan's exports to mainland China grew 9.73% from the previous year, while exports of goods on the early harvest list rose 18.49% year-on-year. In particular, Taiwan's exports of agricultural products to mainland China have been especially impressive. President Ma also noted that the two sides have signed 16 agreements, with the objective of these deals being "to help Taiwan's people do business and boost Taiwan's competitiveness." In the future, the government will continue to create the conditions that it hopes will enable Taiwan to join the TPP within 10 years. Taiwan must as quickly as possible adjust its economic structure and create the conditions to join the TPP. "Even if the road is a little difficult and requires a bit of sacrifice, it is worth it. In the course of signing free trade agreements, we must be prepared for liberalization. Otherwise, we won't be able to compete with others,” the president said.

President Ma expressed his feeling that creativity and innovation have enormous influence on the development of enterprises. It is precisely because of this that Taiwan must move from being an efficiency-driven economy to an innovation-driven economy. Taiwan has exciting developmental potential on this front, as evidenced by the outstanding performance of Taiwan students in various international competitions. The president commented that Taiwan participants in the 2012 Moscow International Salon of Inventions and Innovation Technologies «Archimedes» won 41 gold medals, 31 silver medals, and eight bronzes, giving Taiwan the highest medal count of any participating nation. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum recently ranked Taiwan 13th in its Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, with Taiwan ranking first in eight indicators, including the number of utility patents per million population. The president acknowledged that commercialization of these patents and inventions constitutes an important challenge and goal for the government in the future, as only by achieving this can greater profits be generated.

In discussing entrepreneurship among youth, the president stated that a total of 2,661 young people in Taiwan received business startup loans in 2011, which helped to create 12,920 jobs. These figures were the highest since the loan program was set up in 1968, and it signifies that Taiwan has already begun to move towards becoming an entrepreneurial society. Last year, the government also reduced the annual interest rate on business startup loans to 1.87% from 2.295%, he said, adding that this is effectively alleviating the financial burden on young entrepreneurs. He also expressed his confidence that this will aid youth in their career development.

Lastly, the president stated that the government will continue to work to turn Taiwan into a global center for innovation, an economic and trade hub in the Asia-Pacific, a global headquarters for Taiwan companies, and a regional headquarters for foreign companies. He remarked that his first term in office was devoted to helping Taiwan "undo the mistakes of the past and catch up with the rest of the world." In his second term, he said, he will seek to "remake Taiwan and pursue excellence." President Ma expressed his hopes that the guests will continue to work together with the government in the pursuit of greater prosperity and wellbeing, and a better living environment.

The group of over 40 award winners visited the Presidential Office in the afternoon to meet President Ma. Also attending the meeting were National Youth Commission Minister Chen Yi-chen (陳以真) and Deputy Secretary-General to the President Liu Bao-guey (劉寶貴).
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