The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that the government had failed to attract adequate levels of Chinese investment to bolster the nation’s economy.
“The amount of Chinese investment in Taiwan has been very little,” DPP Spokeswoman Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said yesterday. “It is disappointing to see that there is such a huge gap between the government’s promise to bolster Taiwan’s economy with Chinese injection and the outcome.”
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has been forging closer economic ties with China and working to redress the imbalance in the trade flow between the two sides.
However, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said at a separate setting yesterday that Chinese enterprises, including airliners and software companies, have only invested NT$1.2 billion (US$37.16 million) in Taiwan since the nation opened up for investment from China in July.
The amount contrasts with the more than US$100 billion that Taiwanese companies have invested in China since the late 1980s.
Bilateral trade — mostly Taiwanese exports — now exceeds US$110 billion annually.
China’s relatively small investment can be explained by the fact that Chinese companies are still unfamiliar with Taiwan after six months, Shih said.
He added that the ministry would make arrangements to help Chinese investors better adapt to Taiwan.
In other developments, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday that the government would maintain the three preconditions it has set for the signing of an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China.
These preconditions are that the trade agreement must be consistent with the country’s needs, that it must receive approval from the public and must be subject to the supervision of the Legislative Yuan, Wu said in an interview with China Television Co.
For many businesses in Taiwan, he said, it is urgent that an ECFA be signed by May or June.
NO BLIND EYE
At the same time, however, the government cannot turn a blind eye to the “20 percent to 30 percent” of Taiwanese who have doubts about the agreement, Wu said.
He said that the government opposes the idea of holding a referendum on an ECFA because if it were rejected at the polls, no other referendum on the matter could be held for another three years.