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President Tsai convenes high-level security meeting on COVID-19

President Tsai Ing-wen convened a security meeting with senior Cabinet and National Security Council officials March 12 in Taipei City to address the impact of COVID-19 on Taiwan’s economy.

During the summit at the Presidential Office, Tsai said effective preparation and response measures by the government have helped contain the spread of the disease in Taiwan, with more initiatives in the pipeline to ensure continued economic and social stability.

All relevant agencies have been instructed to review their existing projects, remain on high alert and react to developments at home and abroad in a timely manner, she added.

According to Tsai, as part of the COVID-19 relief act promulgated Feb. 25, a special budget of NT$60 billion (US$1.99 billion) is being reviewed by the Legislature to assist sectors hard hit by the disease, with an additional NT$40 billion to be relocated from other government funding sources.

Major public projects such as the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and procurements by state-owned enterprises will continue as scheduled, with no efforts spared to promote private investment, Tsai said. These will bolster domestic consumption and provide fresh growth momentum, she added.

The eight-year FIDP includes projects spanning railway development, digital infrastructure, aquatic environment, food safety, green energy, boosting birth rates and child care facilities, and fostering talent and employment.

While the fundamentals of Taiwan’s economy remain solid, Tsai said the Central Bank, Financial Supervisory Commission and Ministry of Finance are keeping a close eye on global conditions to ensure orderly operation of the country’s financial markets.

Latest statistics by the Central Epidemic Command Center reveal 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Taiwan as of March 13, with one death. A total of 80,813 cases have been identified in China and 52,114 in 112 other countries and territories.