Taipei Dome isn’t banks’ bur­den: Ko Far­glory says will ne­go­ti­ate with any party if nec­es­sary

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHI- HAO JAMES LO

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen- je (

) yesterday said he did not ask lo­cal bank­ing groups to take over the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Taipei Dome from lo­cal con­struc­tion con­sor­tium Far­glory Group ( ).

The dome’s con­struc­tion and man­ag­ing com­pany had missed a key dead­line for ac­quir­ing a new li­cense for con­tin­u­ing con­struc­tion on the dome on Mon­day, June 15.

The dead­line was im­posed af­ter Ko’s ad­min­is­tra­tion turned down Far­glory’s ex­ten­sion ap­pli­ca­tion on Feb. 17 this year, af­ter the con­sor­tium failed to de­liver the dome on Dec. 28, 2014 as agreed upon in the orig­i­nal con­tract.

Fol­low­ing the ex­pi­ra­tion of the dead­line, the com­pany is cur­rently in a state of con­tract breach and il­le­git­i­mate op­er­a­tion.

On Mon­day, Ko had said that the city gov­ern­ment’s Taipei Dome Pro­ject Task Force had con­vened to for­mu­late four re­sponse strate­gies re­gard­ing the com­pany’s fail­ure to com­plete city gov­ern­ment- or­dered mod­i­fi­ca­tions and re­pair work by the dead­line.

Though the mayor had veiled the strate­gies from lo­cal media and the public, a pre­vi­ous state­ment from Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia- chi (

) had re­vealed the ba­sic ideas of the said strate­gies.

One of the plans, which was con­firmed as an op­tion by Teng yesterday, would en­able the city gov­ern­ment to trans­fer the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the dome from Far­glory to bank or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Teng said in ac­cor­dance with Ar­ti­cle 19.4 of the build- op­er­ate- trans­fer con­tract be­tween Taipei and the con­sor­tium, the city has the right to re­port the com­pany’s fail­ures to com­plete re­quired tasks by a set dead­line to the dome’s fi­nanc­ing in­sti­tu­tions, so as to de­ter­mine whether such bank­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions should take over the pro­ject.

The city will also hold meet­ings with the said bank­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions for fur­ther dis­cus­sions, Teng said, and Far­glory will be tasked with com­plet­ing the con­struc­tion of the dome’s foun­da­tion should banks be will­ing to take over the dome’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

How­ever, bank groups were re­port­edly sur­prised by Teng’s an­nounce­ment, with sev­eral ex­ec­u­tives say­ing that they do not un­der­stand the def­i­ni­tion of the dome’s “re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.”

Ko and MOF Stress Takeover is Only a Rec­om­men­da­tion

In re­sponse to the po­ten­tial trans­fer of the dome’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, Far­glory’s spokesman Yang Shun- chin ( ) came for­ward yesterday to say that the Taipei gov­ern­ment is con­stantly go­ing back on its own words.

Yang also said that the com­pany is will­ing to make any proper ne­go­ti­a­tions with any party if nec­es­sary.

Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence yesterday, Ko clar­i­fied what Teng had in­tended to say, and stated that nei­ther he nor the city is telling lo­cal banks to take over the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Taipei Dome.

Ko said that the reg­u­la­tions and con­tracts must be hon­ored, and not im­posed at the say- so of a gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion. As such, it is the city’s duty to first com­mu­ni­cate and dis­cuss with banks be­fore any ideas are set in stone.

The mayor also said that his ad­min­is­tra­tion has abided by their pol­icy and mis­sion since the day he took of­fice, un­like what Yang’s state­ment sug­gested.

The Min­istry of Fi­nance ( MOF) also backed the mayor yesterday, stat­ing that Ko merely wants to com­mu­ni­cate with lo­cal banks.

The de­bate on whether it is proper or nec­es­sary for banks to take over the dome is nonex­is­tent, said Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wu Tang- chieh (

) , since Ko and his ad­min­is­tra­tion did not di­rectly sug­gest a takeover eval­u­a­tion from lo­cal banks.

CNA

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je ( ) speaks dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Taipei, yesterday. Ko said that he did not ask lo­cal bank groups to take over the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Taipei Dome from lo­cal con­struc­tion con­sor­tium Far­glory Group, un­like the state­ment given by his Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi.

AFP

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