However, Taiwan has not been granted access to many of the Chinese service sectors that other countries have access to, such as the real estate market, market research, management consulting, sports and other entertainment services, which are open to almost all other countries. Nor has Taiwan gotten access to services given to some other countries, such as consultancy services in science and technology, printing and publishing, cleaning services for buildings, environmental services, staff arrangement, intercity transport, travel agencies and travel services.
Apart from demanding that China open up the services that other countries have access to, Taiwan should also try to access those service sectors that China has only opened up to Hong Kong and Macau if it wants its service industry to have room to grow. These sectors include legal, accounting, information technology, telecommunications, construction, distribution, education, finance and social services, as well as hospitality management, tour guiding, qualitative and quantitative environmental testing, inspection of pollutants and various forms of transport services.
Furthermore, Taiwan should also demand that China open the key service sectors mentioned in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan to open up further niches for the development of Taiwan’s service sector. These sectors include finance and modern logistics services, services requiring highly skilled and commercial production, consumer services such as commerce, travel and sports, and newer parts of the sector like cultural enterprises, Chinese medicine, financial insurance and education, medical treatment and sports industries.
Given the information we currently have about the cross-strait negotiations, Taiwan is unlikely to be granted as much access to China’s service sector as Hong Kong and Macau have via their Closer Economic Partnership Agreement with Beijing.
Hopefully the government will think carefully about what it is doing, adopt appropriate negotiation strategies and not rush to complete the talks.
This is the only way Taiwan will be able to use a cross-strait service trade agreement to improve its economy and ease public concerns.
Tung Chen-yuan is a professor at National Chengchi University’s Graduate Institute of Development Studies. Lin Yu-lung holds a master’s degree from the institute.
Translated by Drew Cameron