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Apr 17, 2008

Taoyuan Aviation City

Update: Michael Turton notes in the comments:

A free trade zone for the airport has been in proposal and discussion since at least 2002. I've seen several academic studies on it in the course of my editing.

The Legislative Yuan is moving fast to make travel to Taiwan easier and to set up a new investment zone in Taoyuan County. As you may recall, Taoyuan County is relatively over-represented (compared to Tainan) in the new legislature, but I'm not sure how big of a factor that is here.

In any case, I've attached some photos of some of the more interesting sections of the draft bill. First, a summary of what's happening:

04/16/2008 (CENS)

The transportation committee of the Legislative Yuan passed a majority of the articles of the draft "special statute for Taoyuan International Airport," which envisions the setup of an extensive aviation city comprising not only the airport but also various economic zones, all under the management of an administrative body.

The statute is meant to turn around the development of Taoyuan International Airport, which has lagged seriously behind other airports in the neighboring areas in recent years. Chu Li-lun, Taoyuan county magistrate and mastermind of the statute, noted that the statute has been formulated not only for the benefits of Taoyuan residents but also for the entire nation.

Government officials, though, have strong reservation over the bill. Yu Fang-lai, vice minister of transportation and communications, noted that it needs cross-ministry discussion, as well as inputs from various walks of the society, over the project, since the latter involves revisions of various existing laws. An official of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which oversees Taoyuan airport now, dubbed the projected aviation city "virtually an independent nation," free from adequate supervision....

The projected aviation city will cover 6,150 hectares of space, consisting of the airport, an airport special area, a free-trade port area, an industrial zone compatible to the airport, a trade exhibition park, a residential area, a sophisticated agriculture area, and a coastal recreational area, all under the management of an administrative body, whose board directors will be appointed by the Executive Yuan (the Cabinet).

Now some of the more interesting provisions of this bill (full version pdf here). The DPP is complaining about most of the amendments below.

Article 51

This would allow Chinese businessmen coming to Taiwan to come on landing visas, which would certainly simplify the process for these visitors. It would more or treat them as other foreign businessmen get treated.

From what I can tell in the legal text to the right, this would not apply to all visitors equally, but rather would be some sort of preferential treatment for Chinese businessmen coming here. As far as I can see, tourist groups would still be applying for visas.

Article 60, 61

Article 60 would allow foreign doctors to operate within the special Taoyuan Aviation City outside of the scope of normal Taiwan's normal regulations. This will undoubtedly be opposed by Taiwanese doctors.

Article 61 would make English and Chinese the official languages of documents produced by government offices within the Aviation City. (The DPP is not complaining about this, but I found it interesting).

Article 53

This article would provide various tax incentives for investors in the zone. Details aren't that interesting, but the "explanation" on the right is: it lists how Taiwan's tax incentives compare to other countries in the world, including even Ireland, to argue that Taiwan needs to create these incentives to maintain a competitive edge.

1 comment:

Michael Turton said...

A free trade zone for the airport has been in proposal and discussion since at least 2002. I've seen several academic studies on it in the course of my editing.