Back to list

ECFA will help facilitate Taiwan's economic upgrade: top negotiator

2010/06/27 21:06:03

Taipei, June 27 (CNA) Taiwan will stand a far better chance ofbecoming an Asia-Pacific trade hub and an operation center forTaiwanese business groups after a wide-ranging trade pact is signedwith China later this week, a senior negotiator said Sunday.

"The imminent cross-strait economic cooperation frameworkagreement (ECFA) will offer us fair opportunity to compete withmember states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)in the vast Chinese market, which will make it much easier for us totransform into a regional trade hub, " said Straits ExchangeFoundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung.

"Our geographical proximity to China, the cultural similaritiesacross the strait, our huge investments there and our government'soperational efficiency will complement the ECFA and help us in ourquest to develop as a regional trade hub and operation center, " saidthe country's top negotiator with China.

Chiang is scheduled to depart for Chongqing, China Monday to meetwith his Chinese counterpart Chen Yunlin, president of theAssociation for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), for thefifth round of high-level cross-strait talks since President MaYing-jeou took office in May 2008.

Chiang said at a pre-departure news conference that the mainagenda for the upcoming meeting will be the signing Tuesday of theECFA, which is focused on mutual tariff reductions and anintellectual property rights protection agreement.

The two sides have also agreed that within six months after theECFA takes effect, they will start follow-up talks on merchandise andservice trade and investment protection, Chiang said. Those talks maylead to the inclusion of more items for tariff concessions and easiermarket access terms, he added.

Noting that investment, consumption and foreign trade form thebackbone of a country's economy, Chiang said upgrading Taiwan'sexport competitiveness is crucial to its well-being because itseconomic growth is largely reliant on export trade.

Now that China has emerged as Taiwan's top export market and itstop overseas investment destination, Chiang said, Taiwan should cashin on the tariff cuts offered under the ECFA to hone its competitiveedge in order to sustain its economic growth and maintain its marketniche worldwide.

The SEF and ARATS are quasi-official intermediary bodiesestablished by Taiwan and China, respectively, to handle exchanges inthe absence of official ties.

(By Feng Chao and Sofia Wu)
enditem /pc