Taipei, May 26 (CNA) In a meeting with Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch on Monday, Vietnam's industry and trade minister expressed his regret and apology for the losses Taiwanese businesses in Vietnam suffered during anti-China violence there in mid-May.
Heading a Vietnamese government delegation, Vu Huy Hoang met with Chang at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) for four hours on Monday and discussed the extent of the losses suffered and Taiwan's request for assistance, said Lien Yu-ping, head of the MOEA's Department of Investment Services.
Aside from showing his deep regret, Vu reiterated that measures will be taken to punish the mobs that looted and in some cases set ablaze factories run by Taiwanese businesses operating in Vietnam during protests that turned violent on May 13 and 14, Lien said.
Vu also promised protection for Taiwanese businesses and said the Vietnamese government will deal with compensation issues responsibly, Lien said.
The minister expressed hope that bilateral trade and economic ties between Taiwan and Vietnam would not be affected by the violence, Lien said, citing Vu.
The Vietnamese delegation was in Taiwan at the instruction of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, according to the MOEA.
The meeting came after Vice Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin led a delegation to Vietnam last week to assess the damage sustained by Taiwanese businesses there.
During that visit, Shen met with Planning and Investment Minister Bui Quang Vinh and raised the issue of compensation.
In addition to urging Hanoi to set up a single window to handle the matter, Taipei also proposed forming a bilateral negotiating commission and a joint mediation commission, and suggested that Hanoi offer Taiwanese investors tax deductions and waivers, Shen said.
It was not clear if Monday's meeting in Taipei specifically addressed those proposals.
A total of 224 Taiwanese companies reported damage during the riots, with 18 factories set on fire, five of which were completely destroyed, according to MOEA-compiled statistics.
The operations of about 1,100 Taiwanese enterprises were also suspended, the ministry said.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/ls
Related stories:●May 24: Vietnam assessing compensation for Taiwanese companies: official●May 21: Taiwan, Vietnam discussing losses incurred during rioting
(Click here for developments related to the anti-China protest-turned-riot in Vietnam.)