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Economic growth with job creation is most important: vice president

Economic growth with job creation is most important: vice president

Taipei, Jan. 29 (CNA) Vice President Vincent Siew said Tuesday that attaining economic growth with high employment is the most important task for Taiwan and that the nation needs to improve its competitiveness through innovation and globalization.
In an exclusive interview with FocusTaiwan, CNA's English-language news service, Siew said that facing the trend of global and regional economic integration, Taiwan is promoting the signing of a cross-Taiwan Strait economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) as a necessary step to create an environment for negotiations on free trade agreements (FTAs) with other trade partners.
"ECFA is a precondition for Taiwan to participate in regional, as well as global, economic integration, but it is not the only tonic to provide energy to the nation's economy," said the vice president.
He said that "at the moment, Taiwan is challenged economically in three aspects. It is vital to improve the nation's competitiveness through innovation and upgrading the industrial structure." As an island economy that relies heavily on external trade, Taiwan needs to attain a global reach to ensure that it does not become marginalized, said Siew.
"All the nations in North Asia are engaging in negotiations on bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements, since the Doha round negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) did not proceed smoothly and many countries have sought alternatives in the face of the emergence of protectionism," he said.
Statistics released by the WTO indicate that countries around the world have inked 230 free trade agreements for reciprocal tariff-free treatment. Among Taiwan's leading trade competitors, Japan has signed 11 FTAs and is negotiating for eight more, South Korea has signed six and is negotiating for 17 more, and China has signed nine and is negotiating 14 more.
"If Taiwan cannot conclude similar agreements, a chain reaction due to the export disadvantage, from contraction of exports, shrinkage and exodus of industries to mounting unemployment, will not only impact Taiwan economically, but will also pose serious social problems," Siew said.
Another challenge facing Taiwan is how to promote a restructuring of industries, he went on, adding that in an era of knowledge economy and M-shaped society, the priority of the nation's economic development is to create more jobs rather than achieve high growth.
Stressing the importance of innovation in maintaining competitiveness in research and development, design, marketing and brand-building, Siew said that while pursuing growth, industries should also create more jobs.
"The government has made biotechnology, green energy, medical care, tourism, cultural creativity and refined agriculture the key emerging industries, which are not necessarily hi-tech industries, but they have the potential of creating jobs, boosting domestic demand and exploring overseas markets," he said.
(By Lillian Lin)




Updated : 2021-04-12 06:55 GMT+08:00