An economist yesterday urged the legislature to quickly pass the service trade agreement signed by Taiwan and China on June 21, warning that the advantages the nation could enjoy from ratifying the deal earlier than its trade rivals may diminish over time.
With progress on the legislative review of the pact stalled, and other countries and territories, including Hong Kong, already gearing up to seek similar pacts, Taiwan risks losing its advantages, said Roy Lee (李淳) of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER).
Lee added that the advantages of free-trade agreements (FTA) are gauged in relative terms.
For example, if Taiwan and the US sign an FTA, the full range of advantages South Korea enjoys from its FTA with the US will be limited to the period of time before Taipei strikes a similar deal, Lee said, without elaborating.
He said that this effect also applies to the cross-strait service trade deal and any such trade pacts that Beijing signs with other parties.
Hong Kong and Macau proposed being extended treatment from China similar to that stipulate in the cross-strait agreement after Beijing and Taipei signed the deal, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits President Chen Deming (陳德銘) said.
Starting in January next year, China is expected to further open up its service sector to businesses Hong Kong and Macau, extending the same treatment to the territories that is to be enjoyed by Taiwan under the pact, Chen was quoted as saying after a meeting with Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association chairman Kuo Tai-chiang (郭台強) in Beijing on Sept. 3.
Lawmakers have yet to complete their detailed review of the cross-strait services pact, amid controversy over the possible adverse effects the deal’s implementation may have on the local service industry.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up