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ECFA is threshold for free trade negotiations: vice president

ECFA is threshold for free trade negotiations: vice president

Taipei, Jan. 29 (CNA) Vice President Vincent Siew said that the proposed cross-strait economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) can be thought of as "the threshold" that Taiwan needs to cross before negotiating free trade agreements with other trading partners.
Pointing out that political factors still predominate, the vice president said the government has achieved limited progress in its efforts to seek negotiations on free trade deals with the United States, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and other major trading partners.
Some trading partners have suggested that normalizing cross-strait economic and trade relations would benefit Taiwan in terms of negotiating bilateral or multilateral trade agreements, he added.
Signing a trade deal with China would also improve Taiwan's investment environment, Siew contended.
"Taiwan will become more attractive to international enterprises as a base to explore the Chinese market with the establishment of a cross-strait economic exchange mechanism," he said.
Siew believes Taiwan could also serve as a "shortcut" for foreign companies seeking to invest in China, one that could help them overcome difficulties doing business in China due to conflicts in cultures or business approaches.
"If they come to Taiwan first, they will save a lot of inconvenience doing business in China because they have learned ways and means that may be identical on both sides of the strait, " he said.
Foreign companies mostly find themselves "comfortable" in Taiwan, according to the vice president.
"Some Japanese companies have learned to cooperate with Taiwanese firms to explore the Chinese market, and the collaboration has made their operations in China much smoother," he said.
Signing the proposed ECFA would further strengthen Taiwan as a base for international corporations planning to make inroads into China, "because there would be basic rules to follow in cross-strait economic and trade exchanges, adding stability and certainty to Taiwan's business environment, " he said.
(By Alex Jiang and Lillian Lin)




Updated : 2021-06-17 14:25 GMT+08:00