China Times: Paving Taiwan's way to TPP, RCEP
Central News Agency
2014-01-09 11:39 AM
While actively involved in negotiations over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is mainly comprised of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China has also declared interest in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Shanghai free trade zone launched in September can be seen as an experimental liberalization project paving the way for China to join the far-reaching trade agreement. Chinese government statistics indicate that the project has achieved obvious results, with 1,733 new companies registered in the Shanghai free trade zone in the first two months of its launch. On Jan. 6, China further opened up seven types of telecom and Internet services to foreign companies based in the zone. They include the e-commerce industry, which is also covered by the service trade agreement signed with Taiwan in June. The development highlights the need for Taiwan to speed up its pace of economic liberalization to salvage its declining industry competitiveness. With China being Taiwan's largest trade partner, Taiwan must work to put the service trade agreement into force and conclude negotiations for an agreement on trade in goods as soon as possible. This will facilitate Taiwan's participation in economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region and reduce the impact of the China-South Korea free trade agreement on Taiwan's economy. In addition, Taiwan should take advantage of its economic cooperation with China and find a way that will allow the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to jointly take part in global and regional economic integration. In particular, Taiwan should keep close track of China's TPP involvement in order to increase its own chances of joining the agreement. Furthermore, the government should pay attention to the possible impact of Taiwan's future participation in the TPP and present substantive plans to promote industry transformation. Conducting comprehensive communication with the industry sector beforehand will be helpful to increasing the economic benefits of Taiwan's TPP membership. (Editorial abstract -- Jan. 9, 2014) (By Y.F. Low)
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