Sat, May 27, 2000 - Page 17 News List

China's WTO accession to benefit textile industry


China's entry into the WTO is expected to be a boon for Taiwanese businesses based there, particularly textile and shoe manufacturers that export to the US, industry officials said yesterday.

"This is good news for Taiwan-ese businessmen exporting to the US via manufacturing in China," said Stanley Hsu (許俊達), chairman of the association of Taiwanese businessmen in China.

According to Hsu, import restrictions the US previously imposed on China -- including a boycott on labor-intensive Chinese products -- will be significantly reduced.

Therefore, Taiwan will also benefit from the lower US tariffs on imports from China.

Hsu said that Taiwanese will probably take a wait-and-see attitude in the short term, but "they will eventually increase their production capacity for taking up a larger US market share."

Timothy Lu (盧鐵吾), president of the Dalian Association of Enterprise for Investment of Taiwan (大連市台商投資企業協會) in Northeastern China, said that many Taiwanese businesses have been gearing up in anticipation of China's WTO entry.

"Many Taiwanese businessmen have made preparations to increase production for both the the US and Chinese markets following the latter's accession to WTO," Lu said.

Taiwanese businessmen in China reportedly agree that China's permanent normal trade relations status with the US will lead China to develop deeper ties with the international community.

Therefore, trade disputes with China can be settled based on international practices, and thus the risk of Taiwanese businessmen investing in China will be reduced.

But some Taiwanese businessmen are concerned that China's growing economic power may be a threat for Taiwan.

Tsai Yu-cheng (蔡裕成), head of a Taiwan business association in the Chinese city of Ningpo, said that "Taiwan's business competitiveness might be threatened by China's growing economic strength."

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