Taiwan should seek to address its economic challenges following the conclusion of free-trade talks between China and South Korea yesterday, the Presidential Office said in Taipei.
The Presidential Office said the development between the regional players was expected after more than two years of trade talks.
Given that South Korea’s trade structure is very similar to Taiwan’s, the Presidential Office said the nation must work to catch up with its main regional trade competitor and be better prepared for regional economic integration.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ought to be held responsible for Taiwan being outpaced by South Korea.
Chen said that after Taiwan and China signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010, it was to be followed with the signing and implementation of the long-stalled cross-strait service trade pact.
While Taiwan signed the service trade agreement with China in June last year, the legislature — in response to growing public demands for more transparency in the negotiation of cross-strait pacts — has decided to review the deal before ratifying it, Chen said.
Saying the pact has been stalled since April, Chen added: “The DPP is the main culprit for delaying Taiwan’s economic development.”
Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) panned President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, saying it thought only of integrating more of Taiwan’s economy with China’s, while failing to improve the competitiveness of domestic industries.
“It is an incorrect comparison to use the China-South Korea free-trade deal to promote the cross-strait service trade agreement,” he said.
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