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President Chen Visits 102-Year-Old Liu and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.

Tainan, Taiwan, Oct. 25 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian said Thursday he is very pleased to learn that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) has decided to launch new investment plans at two of the island's high-tech industrial parks.

Chen made the remarks during a visit to the TSMC's newest manufacturing facility in the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park in southern Taiwan. "The TSMC's new investment plans manifest its support for the government's ambitious bid to develop Taiwan into a regional operation hub," Chen said.

Noting that Taiwan still enjoys competitive edges in the high-tech industry development, Chen said local businesses and individual people should remain confident in the island's developmental potential, despite current domestic woes.

Chen said his administration will make every possible effort to improve the domestic investment climate and drop all unnecessary restrictions and improper interferences in economic activities. "By so doing," Chen said, "we hope to create an environment where all enterprises can exercise their vitality and creativity freely and fully to enhance their competitiveness in the global market."

Based on Taiwan's current high-tech basis, Chen said, the government intends to nurture even more creative and productive new enterprises.

Touching on the government's policy toward trade and economic ties with mainland China, Chen said his administration has replaced the "no haste, be patient" policy with a more positive approach -- "active opening and effective management." "The policy adjustment was based on the principles of 'Taiwan first,' 'economy first' and the demand of domestic enterprises," Chen explained, adding that mainland China would be part of Taiwan's global development plan.

Chen also lauded the TSMC for its completion of a professional study which confirms that, through engineering technology, the effects of vibrations from a high-speed railway project near the Tainan science park on microchip fabrication can be eliminated.

TSMC is the world's leading microchip foundry service. Chen said he hopes that the TSMC's study would help lure investors back to the southern Taiwan high-tech industrial stronghold.

TSMC was among the first group of local enterprises to build production facilities in the Tainan park. Its first chip factory in the park began volume production in January 1999. Construction of its second plant in the Tainan park for 8-inch wafer fabrication was suspended earlier this year over vibration concerns.

TSMC Deputy Chief Executive Officer F. C. Tseng said TAMC will invest up to NT$700 billion (US$20.29 billion) over the next 10 to 15 years in building five 12-inch wafer plants in the Tainan parks and a new 12-inch wafer factory in the Hsinchu park.

President Chen visited 102-year-old Liu and extended to her his best wishes.

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