Mon, Nov 17, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Stalled cross-strait trade ties could hurt investment: Gou

Staff writer, with CNA

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) on Saturday called on the government to speed up efforts to sign a trade-in-goods agreement with China to lift the nation’s lagging economic competitiveness.

Speaking in an interview with CtiTV (中天新聞台), Gou said that the conclusion of free-trade talks between South Korea and China last week was a “warning sign” to Taiwan and will be a factor influencing the investment decisions of foreign companies.

Foreign companies will base their decisions to invest in Taiwan on whether such a move could help them access the Chinese market and if Taiwan can become an important base of operations in the Asia-Pacific and Greater China regions, Gou said.

With Taiwan’s global competitiveness waning, Guo said he would not invest in Taiwan “if I were a foreign investor.”

Taiwan cannot abandon the Chinese market, which is likely to become the world’s largest within the next two to three years, he said.

Taiwan enjoys an inherent advantage in accessing the Chinese market because of language and cultural ties, but this advantage is being eroded by decreasing mutual trust, partisan confrontation, politicization of economic issues and a weak government that is “overly accommodating to minority opinions,” he said.

Hon Hai may have to reduce its investment in Taiwan if the nation continues to look at trade liberalization issues through a political lens and refuses to change its attitude toward China, Gou said.

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