Feb 03, 2012

Taiwan: Plans to Join Trade Bloc within Ten Years

The Taiwanese President, Mr. Ma Ying-jeou, has outlined plans to significantly improve economic conditions in Taiwan, which will enable the country to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership within a decade. Taiwan’s total foreign trade for the year 2011 was US$589.9 billion, with more than one fifth of this coming from China.

Below is an article published by the China Economic News Service:

At a recent party held by the government for overseas Taiwanese businessmen returning home for Chinese New Year, President Ma Ying-jeou vowed to steer Taiwan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bloc within the next decade.

TPP is a multilateral free trade agreement currently under negotiation between the U.S. and its Asia-Pacific partners. Ma indicated that Taiwan’s inking of ECFA (economic cooperation framework agreement) with China has encouraged Taiwan’s other trade partners to follow suit. Last year [2011] Taiwan signed an investment agreement with Japan and is currently negotiating with Singapore and New Zealand over the inking of free trade pacts.

“I see the center of gravity in the global economy shifting steadily toward Asia,” Ma said. “I see regional economic integration accelerating. Taiwan is very well positioned to take advantage of these trends.”

Being elected to his second term, President Ma has outlined his golden decade blueprint and urged his administration to create the conditions needed for Taiwan to join the TPP within 10 years. The visions of the blueprint give a picture of a robust economy, a just society, clean and competent government, high-quality culture and education, environmental sustainability, cross-strait peace and friendly relations with the international community.

Thanks to ECFA, Taiwan’s trade with China came to US$120 billion in 2011, accounting for more than one fifth of the island’s total foreign trade of US$589.9 billion recorded in the year, with a trade surplus of US$70 billion in favor of Taiwan. Taiwan’s industries benefited from ECFA during the year included petrochemicals, machine tools, textile, electronics, agriculture, etc.