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VIETNAM RIOTS: More than 100 Taiwan firms attacked in Vietnam
Publication Date : 16-05-2014
Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday told a press conference that as of May 14, more than 100 Taiwanese-owned companies in Vietnam had been attacked and damaged, over 10 factories set ablaze and several hundred Taiwanese-owned firms have suspended work owing to safety concerns, adding that the MOEA would assist Taiwanese nationals in seeking compensation from Vietnam.
During the press conference at the Executive Yuan, MOEA Vice Minister Cho Shih-chao said that in Vietnam's Binh Doung Province, more than 500 Taiwanese businesspeople had left their companies and were currently staying in local hotels.
There are also Taiwanese nationals temporarily staying in the Taipei School in Ho Chi Minh City as well as in local hotels in Dong Nai Province and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Cho said.
Taiwanese nationals are currently safe and property losses arising from the recent riots are yet to be confirmed, Cho said.
Taiwan and Vietnam signed an investment protection agreement in 1993 that can be used as the basis for Taiwanese businesses seeking compensation from Vietnam, Cho said.
The MOEA said Taiwanese nationals have invested US$27.3 billion in Vietnam, noting that annual bilateral trade between the two countries amounts to US$11.5 billion.
During the Cabinet meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that based on its estimates, about 40,000 Taiwanese nationals were currently living in Vietnam.
The ministry said there were 2,287 Taiwanese-owned companies and factories registered there, noting that 669 firms were stationed in Binh Doung Province, 331 in Dong Nai Province and 485 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Vanessa Shih said Taiwan would strongly demand that the Vietnamese government abide by the agreement and compensate the affected Taiwanese business operators. Shih added that she believed Vietnam knew the importance of Taiwanese investments in the country's development.
Shih said the representative offices in Vietnam had information about a possible mass demonstration, however, the issues of whether the demonstration would be held this weekend and how the Vietnamese government would respond remained uncertain.
The Executive Yuan yesterday formed a cross-ministry team lead by Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo to gather and respond to the latest information regarding the recent violent demonstrations in Vietnam.
Mao said the team would also assist Taiwanese businesspeople in demanding compensation from the Vietnamese government and protect Taiwanese investors' interests.
The vice premier said that should any Taiwanese nationals wish to return to Taiwan, they can register at Taiwan's representative offices in Vietnam and the government would immediately assist them. The executive branch will also announce all relevant ministries' contact information to public.