President Lee Teng-hui this morning met with visiting Harvard University Professor Michael Porter, and told him that, in order to further the ROC's economic development and to deal with the cutthroat international competitions, it is very important for the government and the private sectors of this country to raise the national competitiveness.
President Lee pointed out that the competitiveness of a country involves not only economic factors but also non-economic ones such as environmental protection, the judiciary system, education, and administrative efficiency. "Only after those factors are improved as a whole, can the nation's competitiveness be really upgraded," said the President.
President Lee also told his guest that each country has its own unique environment and circumstance, and that every country's economic development strategy should be adapted to its own goals at different economic phases.
Citing Taiwan as an example of a successful transformation of an agricultural economy into an industrial one, President Lee noted that the ROC government has successfully mapped out proper economic development strategies to meet the needs of different economic development phases.
President Lee also said that the ROC government used to concentrate national resources to develope the economy at the expense of other sectors, but that, after political democratization, it now has to redistribute resources evenly to meet different demands of the pluralistic society. "This is also a problem faced by the ROC in current economic develpoment," he added.
Being optimistic about the future of Taiwan's economic development, Dr. Porter noted that, although non-economic factors can block a national economic expansion in the short term, they can help sustain a persistent, healthy economic growth in the long term.
Accompanied by Dr. Su Chi, director-general of the ROC Government Information Office, and Dr. Wu Tong-sheng, member of the ROC National Assembly, Dr. Porter came to the Office of the President for the meeting. Also present were Dr. Ding Mou-shih, secretary-general of the ROC National Security Council, and Mr. Stephen S. F. Chen, deputy secretary-general to the President.