President Lee Teng-hui reiterates today that, to create a better business climate, the Republic of China will continue to promote economic liberalization and internationalization, remove economic and non-economic investment barriers, and revise outmoded laws and regulations.
"We hope more American multinational conglomerates will invest in Taiwan and utilize this island as a gateway to the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific market," says the President.
President Lee makes the remarks while meeting with visiting U.S. Small Business Administrator Philip Lader this morning.
Noting that the ROC has kept a longtime friendship with the U.S., President Lee says the U.S. has rendered much assistance to theROC during her modernization process. "The ROC looks forward to upgrading her relations with the U.S on the current basis for jointly promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region," adds he.
For his part, Administrator Lader says it is his honor to represent the U.S. government at the 20th Joint Conference of the ROC-USA and USA-ROC Economic Councils held in Taipei, adding that he is impressed by the perfect arrangement of the conference and appreciates very much the warm-hearted receptions.
Being head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Mr. Lader says he very much admires the outstanding performance of Taiwan's small-and medium-sized enterprises. And he is told by President Lee that the vitality of the small- and medium-sized enterprises, which play an important role in recent U.S. economic recovery, can't be neglected.
President Lee further points out that the ROC's economy was based on agriculture at the early stage and that, while the land most of Taiwan's farmers owned was quite small, the farmers made the best of their limited land to create the greatest economic benefit. During the latter period of our industrial and commercial development, he explains, small and medium businesses have formed the backbone of Taiwan's economy. President Lee, therefore, says that sometimes "small is beautiful".
"The ROC has become a full-fledged democracy following its direct presidential election in March," notes the President, "Our political ideals are consistent with the traditional American values of freedom, democracy and justice. The ROC can be regarded as a model presenting American traditional values and spirits in the Asia-Pacific region." In addition to promoting constitutional reforms, President Lee says, the ROC has been conducting reforms in judicial, educational, administrative and cultural fields with a view to becoming a modernized nation.
In order to reach this goal, according to the President, the present top priority is to develop Taiwan into an Asia-Pacific regionaloperations center. Besides, "We'll hold a National Development Conference later this month to pool wisdom and foster a consensus on our future development course," he says.
During the meeting, Mr. Lader, on behalf of U.S. President BillClinton, gives the best regards to President Lee. President Lee also asks Mr. Lader to convey his warmest wishes to President Clinton. "Please give my heartiest congratulations to President Clinton for his victory in the recent presidential election, and express my sincerest appreciation for his longstanding support for this country," adds President Lee.
Accompanied by ROC Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Wen-hua and AIT Director Darryl Johnson, Administrator Lader comes to the Office of the President for the meeting.
Also present are Dr. Ding Mou-shih, Secretary-Generl of the ROC National Security Council, and Mr. Stephen S. F. Chen, Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of the President.