Ex-VP Siew calls for new model for cross-strait cooperation
Central News Agency
2014-07-22 10:20 PM
Taipei, July 22 (CNA) Former Vice President Vincent Siew proposed Tuesday that Taiwan and China should establish "cooperative free trade zones" to avoid "zero-sum" competition in trade and economics. Speaking at an economic forum organized by CommonWealth Magazine, Siew noted that China has transformed from "the world's factory" to "the world's market" to become the second largest economy under globalization and economic integration. Such trends have transformed the cross-strait model, he said. While Taiwanese businesses used to be producers that contributed to China's exports, the relationship between businesses from the two sides has become one of competition. Over the past two years, he said, Chinese companies have drawn Taiwanese workers, capital and technologies like a magnet. Their strategies of "recruiting Taiwanese talents, copying techniques and duplicating business management models of Taiwanese companies" have "increased hurdles" for Taiwanese entering the China market, he said. That is the reason that many in Taiwan worry over the cross-strait trade-in-services agreement, which will allow capital-abundant Chinese companies to enter Taiwan, he continued, referring to the student-led Sunflower Movement that occupied the Legislature for nearly a month in March. Instead of a zero-sum game, he said, the two sides can work toward "cooperative free trade zones," that would operate in coordination with the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement of 2010, the already signed trade-in-services accord and the merchandise trade agreement still under negotiation between the two sides. Taiwan's energetic capacity for innovation and China's vast domestic market makes the two sides well-suited to cooperate, he contended. He also took the opportunity to urge China to help Taiwan in its bid to join two regional economic blocs under negotiation: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). China should have more constructive thoughts on Taiwan's bids and "less politics," he said. Siew, vice president from 2008 to 2012, is chair of the government-funded Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research and has been asked by President Ma Ying-jeou to help form a civil group to promote Taiwan's TPP and RCEP bids. The CommonWealth forum brought influential business leaders, economists and ranking government officials as key-note speakers, including Asustek Computer Inc. Chairman Jonney Shih and Cheng Siwei, dean of the School of Management at China's University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. (By Wu Ching-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)
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