The Ministry of Economic Affairs has started assessing the impact of China's trade pact with Southeast Asian countries and is seeking to devise business strategies for domestic industries.
In a bid to address the free trade agreement (FTA) inked between China and the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in late November, the ministry has ordered various agencies to evaluate the possible effects on Taiwan, ministry officials said.
Given that Japan and South Korea are slated to begin FTA talks with ASEAN next year, while Australia, New Zealand and India have also shown a keen interest in doing so, Taiwan is set to become an outcast once countries in the region succeed in forming the world's largest trade bloc, with a population of 3 billion.
According to Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (
Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (
Chen added that the China-ASEAN free trade pact will also benefit many Taiwan investors in the two regions and that this is the reason behind the government's efforts to forge FTAs with other countries.