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ECFA with China to help Taiwan - WTO report
12
Jul '10
An outward-oriented development strategy has brought rapid growth and prosperity to the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei), transforming it into a modern industrial economy and a leading exporter of information technology (IT) products, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of Chinese Taipei.

Since its previous Trade Policy Review, in 2006, Chinese Taipei has pursued further trade and investment liberalization, mainly in the services sector, and is currently taking steps to restructure its economy and trade by stimulating domestic consumption and investment. It is also attempting to improve the investment climate in order to attract higher inward direct investment.

The reports says that to strengthen international competitiveness and attract inbound direct investment, Chinese Taipei would need to undertake further structural reforms in order to improve the economy's flexibility in responding to domestic and international challenges, including the improvement of cross-strait economic relations, removal of remaining informal barriers to investment, and adoption of international best practices.

It also says that a bilateral Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China could considerably improve cross-strait relations, and is vital for ensuring the competitiveness of domestic industries, further integrating Chinese Taipei into the world economy and attracting inward investment.

The report, along with a policy statement by the Government of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, was the basis for its second Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) of the WTO on 5 and 7 of July 2010.

At this meeting, the Chair, Turkey's Ambassador, Mr. Bozkurt Aran declared that “Chinese Taipei successfully concluded its second Review. Members congratulated Chinese Taipei on its successful outward-oriented development strategy, which had brought about economic growth and thus prosperity. They praised Chinese Taipei for avoiding protectionist measures in response to the recent economic downturn caused by the global financial crisis. Members commended Chinese Taipei for responding appropriately by implementing fiscal and monetary stimulus. They welcomed the economy's strong recovery already under way in 2010”.

He also added that “Chinese Taipei remained heavily dependent on a few manufactured exports and that this left it vulnerable to sharp contractions in global demand, such as had occurred in 2008-09. Members were interested in knowing how Chinese Taipei intends to diversify its economy and promote the development of the services sector and high-tech manufacturing as the new engines of economic growth. Members were also interested to hear from Chinese Taipei of any plans it might have for further structural reforms aimed, for example, at focussing more on domestic demand, stepping up privatization, and improving the investment climate, so as to ensure sustained growth”.

World Trade Organization

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