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ECFA will help Taiwan integrate into global economy: WTO

2010/07/05 19:16:00

Taipei, July 5 (CNA) The recent signing of a trade pact betweenTaiwan and China is expected to help Taiwan further integrate intothe global economy, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said Monday.

In an interview with the Central News Agency, WTODirector-General Pascal Lamy attached great significance to theeconomic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China in termsof Taiwan's external trade and investment.

Furthermore, with the continued improvement of cross-strait ties,Taiwan will be able to attract more foreign investments and sharpenits competitiveness, he said.

Taiwan and China signed the ECFA on June 29, agreeing to allow539 Taiwanese goods and services tariff free entry or easier marketaccess to China.

According to Lamy, in an assessment prior to a trade policyreview, the WTO found that the objectives of Taiwan's overall tradepolicy continue to be governed by its need to be integrated into theglobal economy through participation in multinational tradeorganizations and by other means, such as talks on free tradeagreements (FTAs).

"Now, The ECFA is an important initiative in this endeavor and wethink it could considerably improve cross-strait relations and can bevery important for ensuring the competitiveness of domesticindustries and further integrate Chinese Taipei into the worldeconomy," Lamy said in the interview.

In the report complied by WTO Secretariat ahead of a review thisweek of Taiwan's trade policy, the organization said the ECFA isexpected to help improve cross strait relations further and clear theway for Taiwan to sign FTAs with its other trading partners in theregion.

Taiwan's signing of the ECFA and its pursuit of FTAs with othermajor trading partners is likely to give it a more competitive edge,according to the report.

Taiwan's aim with regard to global trade is to establish a"global linkage" in the world economy by first emphasizingmultinational economic ties then stepping up measures to boostbilateral relations with its trading partners, the report said.

With further integration into the world economy, Taiwan will beable to attract foreign investments, boost its internationalvisibility and eventually maintain its economic growth, the WTOreport stated.

According to the report, Taiwan's inbound foreign directinvestment (FDI) to GDP ratio is 2.1 percent, which is low byregional standards. It is therefore necessary for Taiwan to improveits investment environment, it added.

Lamy said further improvement of cross-strait relations couldhelp Taiwan to raise its FDI, as many countries want to use Taiwanas an export hub to China.

(By Neil Lu, Lin Shu-yuan and Frances Huang)
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