Fri, Jan 17, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Environment for business ‘must be liberalized faster’

Staff writer, with CNA

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei urged the government yesterday to speed up its efforts to liberalize the business environment, which would help its bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In order to join to the proposed TPP, Taiwan has to obtain the consent of the trade bloc’s 12 negotiating members, who will make their decisions based on the level of liberalization in Taiwan and whether Taiwan’s business environment is well-aligned with internationally accepted standards, AmCham president Andrea Wu (吳王小珍) said in an interview with a local radio station.

This means that Taiwan will have to prove it has promoted liberalization before it joins the TPP, not after, she said.

Another barrier Taiwan needs to overcome involves the government’s credibility, she said.

The delay in passing the cross-strait service trade agreement by the Legislative Yuan and the dispute over US beef imports, for example, have led the international community to doubt the government’s ability to honor its commitments, she said.

Failure to join important trade blocs such as the TPP has lowered foreign investors’ confidence in the Taiwanese economy, she said.

In AmCham’s Business Climate Survey for this year, only 54 percent of respondents expressed optimism in Taiwan’s five-year business outlook, down from 81 percent in 2011, she said.

Wu also called on the government to allow international companies to tender for major public construction projects.

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