Exporters save due to ECFA
The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), signed in June 2010 between Taiwan and China, has saved Taiwanese exporters US$225 million in tariffs from Jan. 1 last year to March this year, Bureau of Foreign Trade Director-General Bill Cho (卓士昭) said on Tuesday.
Under the ECFA, the two countries are to reduce or waive tariffs on more than 800 products during a two-year phase-in period that started on Jan. 1 last year, Cho said.
A total of 94.5 percent of products will become tariff-free once the phase-in period enters the next stage, he said.
Among the goods exported to China that grew the most in the first quarter of this year were transportation goods, mainly auto parts for large vehicles and mountain bikes.
During the same period, exports of agricultural produce also rose significantly by 58 percent annually to US$52.6 million, Cho said.
On the Chinese side, the agreement saved exporters US$33.56 million in tariffs for their shipments to Taiwan during the same period, he added.
Profits halved in first quarter
Taiwan’s publicly traded companies saw their first-quarter pre-tax profits slump 48.85 percent from a year ago, mainly because of the European debt crisis and rising fuel costs, a press release by the Financial Supervisory Commission on Tuesday said.
The companies trading on the TAIEX and the over-the-counter market posted combined pre-tax profits of NT$178.2 billion (US$6.077 billion), down from NT$348.4 billion in the same period last year, the commission said.
The commission attributed the decrease to falling prices of plastics, solar power and DRAM products, an increase in fuel costs and the debt crisis in the eurozone, said Wu Quei-mao (吳桂茂), secretary-general of the commission’s Securities and Futures Bureau.
FSC calls for commitment
The Financial Supervisory Commission on Tuesday urged foreign insurance firms to honor their commitments when investing in Taiwan.
On speculation that Aviva, a UK-based insurance services provider, might withdraw its investments from Taiwan, the commission expressed hope that the company would maintain its cooperation with local businesses in line with its original plan.
Aviva currently operates the First-Aviva Life Insurance Co (第一英傑華人壽) in Taiwan in conjunction with First Financial Holding Co (第一金控).
TAITRA snares game summit
Taiwan’s trade promotion body yesterday said that a professional game summit, connected to the Game Developers Conference (GDC) — the largest annual event for professional video game developers — would take place next month in Taipei.
The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) said it had obtained authorization from San Francisco-based UBM TechWeb, a world-famous integrated services provider and GDC organizer, to jointly hold the summit with the Game Industry Promotion Alliance.
The GDC Taipei Summit will take place at the Taipei International Convention Center on June 26 and 27 and will hopefully drive the development of the professional gaming industry in Taiwan, TAITRA said.
Topics at the summit will include online games, mobile games, social networking games and console games, it added.
TAITRA said it hoped the event would help boost consumer businesses, internationalize Taiwan’s gaming industry and push development of digital content.