Taiwan infrastructure plan risks corruption and waste

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Subject

The Taiwanese government's infrastructure investment plan.

Significance

The legislature on July 5 passed the eight-year 840-billion-Taiwan-dollar (27.5-billion-US-dollar) infrastructure bill that is the centrepiece of President Tsai Ing-wen's economic policies. Fears of corruption and wasteful spending, and accusations of partisan patronage in relation to the plan give the opposition many opportunities to attack the government and undermine its already-low public support.

Impacts

  • Infrastructure spending will boost Taiwan's regional competitiveness, which has declined relative to other Asian economies.
  • Green energy and digital infrastructure will create high-paying jobs for the highly skilled workforce, a major goal of recent governments.
  • The flood of government spending will increase opportunities for corruption among officials and private contractors.
  • Land seizures will lead to public anger and boost support for the opposition.
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