Taiwan's leading enterprises to be invited to join WEF

Dec 17, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Furniture Ι By Judy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 17, 2003 (CENS)-- The World Economic Forum (WEF), a Geneva-based independent organization committed to improving the state of the world, will invite some 25 leading enterprises in Taiwan to join the organization in the near future, according to Tsai Ching-yan, a minister without portfolio.

Tsai, who just returned from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held by the United Nations (UN) in Switzerland, brought back the good news that Jose Maria Figueres-Olsen, vice president of WEF and former president of Costa Rica, is planning to visit Taiwan next February. Figueres-Olsen will lead a delegation of experts and professionals to Taiwan and will assess Taiwan's international competitiveness during their stay here. And, most of all, the WEF taskforce will select some 25 enterprises in Taiwan and help them join the WEF.

The core principles of WEF are to provide a collaborative framework for world leaders to address global issues, to promote entrepreneurship in the global public interest, and to maintain a non-partisan and independent position.

One of WEF's major tasks is to take charge of some global assessments, Tsai said. According to WEF's recent report, in 2003 Taiwan ranked the fifth among 128 nations and areas in the world in terms of international competitiveness, and 17th among more than 100 nations and areas in global information strength.

The WEF recently announced that it would recruit some 1,000 leading enterprises around the world as its members, and 35% of which would be picked up from developing countries or areas, including Taiwan. Any enterprise joining the WEF has to pay an annual membership fee of US$50,000.

Insiders disclosed that quite a few domestic leading electronic and computer firms would be selected by the WEF. Among them are Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. (TSMC), United Microelectronics Corp., Quanta Computer Inc., Powerchip Semiconductor Corp., Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Delta Electronics Inc., Asustek Computer Inc., Acer Inc., Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd., Mitac International, Tatung Co., and Sampo Corp.

Other leading enterprises that are reportedly to enter the '1000 club' include Uni-President Group, Taiwan Cellular Corp., Nanya Plastics Corp., Formosa Plastics Corp., China Steel Corp., Eva Airways Corp., and China Airlines. In addition, some financial institutions, namely, Bank of Taiwan, Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, and Cathay Life Insurance Co., are also welcomed to join the club.

Tsai emphasized that if domestic enterprises become WEF members, they are qualified to attend WEF's taskforce meeting held once every two months and its annual summit conference. It is believed that WEF members have chances to contact international groups for business opportunities while attending such meetings and conferences. Compared to other countries, Taiwan is quite latent in many international activities because of boycott by mainland China. Tsai said that WEF is an important stage for Taiwan to expose itself to the world, and a good channel for Taiwanese enterprises to score more business opportunities.
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