President Lee Teng-hui said that a nation should give equal weight to both stability and growth when developing its economy. From a long-term perspective, any economic growth without a solid foundation will be short-lived. He made the remarks today when receiving Dr. Myron S. Scholes, the 1997 Nobel laureate in economics.
Citing as an example, President Lee said that two years ago, he presented the "no haste, be patient" policy as a warning to local businesses investing in the Chinese mainland. While his warning invited various criticisms, this policy nonetheless had proven to be correct.
During the meeting, President Lee also exchanged views extensively with Dr. Scholes on the existing economic situations and prospects in Southeast Asian countries, Japan, South Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong and the Republic of China.
The President maintained that there are numerous reasons for the recent financial crisis in East Asia, and these reasons may vary from country to country. However, in general, an unsound economic structure is the common factor underlying each country's crisis. The ROC was relatively not as affected by the crisis thanks to its healthier economic conditions and good economic fundamentals, he said. He told the visiting Nobel Prize winner that he remained very optimistic about the ROC's economic prospects.
Accompanied by President Chen Wei-jao of National Taiwan University, Dr. Scholes met with President Lee at the Presidential Office this morning. Secretary-General Ding Mou-shih of National Security Council and Huang Chen-tai, chairman of National Science Council, were also present at the occasion.