Thu, Jan 12, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Increased ties with PRC ‘right’: Liu

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Council of Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) said yesterday that Taiwan should strengthen cooperation with China to increase its competitiveness on exports.

“Through the right strategy, the nation could substantially raise its position, following the gradual shift of the economic focus from the West to the East,” Liu told a media briefing.

Recent progress on free-trade talks between China and South Korea have raised concerns that Taiwan’s competitiveness may further fall behind in the exports sector, as South Korea is a major competitor to Taiwan in this regard.

The share of Taiwan-made products has fallen behind that of South Korea-made goods on the US and the EU import market since 2001 and 2002 respectively, Liu said.

In 2010, products made by Taiwan and South Korea accounted for a 1.87 percent and 2.56 percent share of the US import market respectively, while taking 1.61 percent and 2.58 percent of the EU import market, Liu said, citing data from the Bureau of Foreign Trade.

Under these conditions, Liu said the nation should focus on cooperating with countries with high penetration and dynamic growing pace in the import market in the US and the EU, such as China.

Data showed that share of China-made products in 2010 was 19.08 percent and 18.87 percent in the US and the EU, respectively, showing a substantial growth compared with an 8.22 percent and 6.75 percent market share recorded in 2000.

“Since China has the strongest capability to sell goods to these markets, Taiwan should follow the trend to strengthen collaboration with it in various ways, instead of only looking at China as Taiwan’s factory or market,” Liu said.

Meanwhile, Liu suggested that Taiwan continue shifting its export focus to emerging markets in Asia, especially to countries with strong demand for imported consumer goods.

Citing India as an example, the country’s consumption accounts for about 60 percent of overall GDP, but commercial ties between Taiwan and India are still low, Liu said, adding that photovoltaic, plastic, mechanical, organic chemistry and steel products would be sectors that Taiwanese exporters could market to India.

Products made in Taiwan took a 4.67 percent share of the import market in five ASEAN countries — Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines — in 2010, while South Korea and China accounted for 5.95 and 12.21 percent respectively, data showed.

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