Sat, Mar 24, 2018 - Page 1 News List

President details trade strategies

GLOBAL ECONOMY:Tsai said that Taipei would continue talks with the US to ensure that the nation’s trade interests are not adversely affected by the US-China dispute

Staff writer, with CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen speaks at a news conference at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday laid out four strategies that she said Taiwanese businesses should adopt to protect their interests in the face of a looming trade war between the US and China.

Speaking to a delegation from the Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce, Tsai addressed a US announcement on Thursday that it would impose tariffs on US$60 billion of Chinese imports, Beijing’s proposed retaliatory tariffs on US$3 billion of US goods and what Taiwan can do to protect itself from the dispute.

First, the nation needs to strengthen its development and production capabilities, Tsai said.

This means providing the techniques and added value to creating products considered to be “made in Taiwan,” she added.

The second strategy would be to accelerate domestic investment in renewable energy sources, urban renewal, social housing and elderly care, which are domestic demands that will drive the growth of the nation’s economy, Tsai said.

Third, the president touted the values of innovation and how elevating the nation’s ability to innovate, especially in technology, is the key to trade victory.

To this end, the nation needs to continue to promote its “five plus two” industrial development program and other industrial development projects at a faster rate, Tsai said.

The program covers the Internet of Things, biotechnology, “green” energy, “smart” machinery and the defense industry, as well as creating a new agricultural paradigm and a circular economy.

Finally, Taiwanese businesses should diversify where they conduct trade and manufacture their goods, Tsai said, pointing to the countries targeted by her administration’s New Southbound Policy as potential markets to tap into.

Regarding the possibility of a trade war between the US and China, Tsai told the delegation that Taiwan has a good grasp of the situation and would continue to monitor it and respond as necessary.

Taiwan will continue to engage in negotiations with the US to ensure that its trade interests are not harmed, she said.

She also called on the US and China to hold talks to avoid a full-blown trade war.

Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) yesterday said the Ministry of Economic Affairs has conducted studies and simulations to determine how Taiwan’s economy might be affected by such global developments and stands ready to comply with any orders from the Executive Yuan.

Shen on Thursday told reporters that Taiwanese manufacturers in China and suppliers of components that are assembled there might be negatively affected by the tariffs.

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