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Taiwan expands list of export control items to Russia and Belarus

02/07/2024 09:57 PM
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Unsplash image for illustrative purpose only
Unsplash image for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) Taiwan has added 77 items to the list of machine tools restricted from being exported to Russia and Belarus that is set to take effect on March 8 in a bid to prevent the Russian military from using Taiwan's high-tech products in its war in Ukraine, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said on Wednesday in a statement.

The Taiwan government imposed export controls on a number of high-end machine tools to Russia and Belarus in 2023 and is widening the scope of export restrictions to 77 additional products to stay in line with the tightened export sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States, and Japan, an official with the MOEA's International Trade Administration said.

The items added to the new export controls list include sophisticated equipment called CNC machine tools, machining centers, lathes and turning machines, milling machines, and grinding machines.

Taiwan's exports of the 77 items to Russia reached US$45 million last year, accounting for 1.47 percent of Taiwan's total exports to Russia, according to the official.

With increasing global awareness of the risk posed by weapon proliferation, if Taiwan's machine tools were found to be exported to to Russia for the production of military weapons, this could affect German and Japanese key component manufacturers' willingness to sell their products to Taiwan and thus impact the upstream and downstream supply chain in the machine tool industry, the official said.

According to the ministry, it has also requested Taiwanese manufacturers exporting to countries such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, which are considered to have a high risk of reshipping the products, to agree not to redirect shipments to Russia and Belarus.

Meanwhile, the Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builder's Association said on Wednesday that the expanded sanctions against specific exports to Russia are expected to affect the entire industry and it hopes the government will help businesses in the industry to upgrade and transform their techniques and technology.

It also expressed hopes the government will seek to sign free trade agreements with trade partners and join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), an Asia-Pacific trade bloc, to allow Taiwanese businesses to enjoy preferential tariffs and help them expand internationally.

(By Liu Chien-ling and Evelyn Kao)

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