Taipei, May 21 (CNA) The Kaohsiung municipal government has set up a steering committee with industrial parks and port operators to speed up the probable establishment of a free economic zone in the city, Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Yung-te said Monday.
Lee said the committee, comprised of representatives of an export processing zone, a science park, Taiwan International Ports Corp., and Kaohsiung International Airport, has held one meeting already to help push for the zone's establishment.
The committee will draft a proposal for the economic zone by the end of this year and submit it to the central government for funding and assistance.
Lee said the committee will refer to the examples of Incheon in South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Netherlands and will suggest that the central government loosen restrictions for the smooth establishment of the zone.
The plan is in line with President Ma Ying-jeou's pledge in his inaugural address that Taiwan will establish "showcase" free economic zones, one of which will be in Kaohsiung.
Ma said it was "a crucial step in Taiwan's move to becoming a 'free trade island.'"
(By Wang Shwu-fen and Jamie Wang)