Alexa

Gov't to ease impact of trade deal on industries: Siew

Gov't to ease impact of trade deal on industries: Siew

Taipei, Jan. 29 (CNA) Vice President Vincent Siew said the government has set aside a special budget of NT$95 billion to help Taiwan's industries brave the challenges and deal with the impact that could arise from closer economic exchanges between Taiwan and China when they conclude an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA).
The government is fully aware of the possible challenges to and impact on emerging industries and the traditional sectors, said the vice president, who has played an important role in the nation's economic policy planning and implementation since the 1980s in various posts -- as director general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) , minister of economic affairs, chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) , chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, and premier.
Taiwan's traditional industries, which are already facing fierce competition from their Chinese counterparts, have expressed grave concern that the Taiwan market will be flooded with Chinese products.
"As BOFT director general years ago, I faced strong protests from chicken farmers when Taiwan was negotiating with the United States to open the market to imports of turkey, and the protesters even threw eggs at me,"the vice president said.
There were years of resistance from various sectors, as the government tried to make tariff concessions in order to get reciprocal free trade treatment, he recalled.
However, in the turkey negotiations, the government was able to get the U.S. to understand the situation and to allow a grace period, he added.
The government is seeking similar considerations in the process of its negotiations on the trade pact with China, he said.
Another example of the complexity of trade negotiations was Taiwan's effort to join the World Trade Organization, the vice president said.
"It took Taiwan 12 years to meet all the requirements to join the WTO, and during the process, the government had to step up its efforts to communicate with the people and help those likely to be affected to enhance their competitiveness," Siew said.
In drafting a trade policy, the government will consider the nation's comparative advantages, which means focusing on products and services that Taiwan can produce most efficiently and on emerging industries such as biotechnology, green energy, electronic integrated systems, and cloud computing technology, he said.
The trend of global economic integration has forced Taiwan to take on new challenges, he said. The government will work out supplementary packages to offset any negative impact on local industries as a result of globalization, and, in the meantime, will encourage the industries to develop further through innovation, Siew added.
(By Alex Jiang)




Updated : 2021-03-03 04:41 GMT+08:00