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Service sector to benefit most from pact with China: economist

Service sector to benefit most from pact with China: economist

Taipei, Jan. 31 (CNA) The service sector, particularly the banking industry, would be the biggest beneficiary of a proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China because of its ability to serve as a bridge to China for foreign companies, an economist said Sunday.
Lin Chien-fu, an economics professor at National Taiwan University and a member of the president's economic advisory council, said the memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on financial regulatory cooperation signed by the two sides late last year have given Taiwan's banks a ticket to China's fast-growing market.
If the proposed ECFA is signed, it would be like upgrading the banking sector's ticket to a VIP pass, Lin said.
In assessing the overall impact of the trade pact, Lin noted that the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) has estimated Taiwan would gain a net 263,000 jobs if the ECFA is signed.
But because the pact will include an early harvest list of items given immediate tariff concessions and will be implemented gradually, Lin believes it might initially have less of an adverse impact on vulnerable sectors and mitigate job losses, pushing net job gains higher.
The agreement would also help attract an inflow of foreign funds as many foreign companies see Taiwan as an ideal springboard into China's market, according to Lin.
For instance, Japanese, U.S. and European enterprises that have had trouble doing business in China might seek the cooperation of Taiwanese companies and take advantage of their understanding and knowledge of China to venture into its market, Lin said.
He insisted that the opportunity for Taiwan in acting as a bridge between China and those countries should not be underestimated.
Lin predicted Taiwan's economy would turn for the better because of the ECFA and reach President Ma Ying-jeou's "6-3-3" campaign promise goals -- an annual economic growth rate of 6 percent, a 3 percent unemployment rate and per capita GDP of US$30,000 by 2016.
(Kuo Mei-lan and Y.L. Kao)





Updated : 2021-05-15 14:33 GMT+08:00