Fri, Sep 21, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Allies urge move to Central America

Staff writer, with CNA

Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs Director-General Phoebe Yeh speaks at a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times

The nation’s Central American allies have been calling for Taiwanese companies to move their production bases to the region amid the US-China trade war.

A report released by Yuanta-Polaris, an economic think tank, said that Taiwan’s machine tool and electronic components industries were two sectors likely be the most affected by the trade war, as such items account for about half of Chinese imports to the US.

Sooner or later, they will be targeted by the US administration, the report said.

Many Taiwanese companies use China as a manufacturing base for machine tools and electronic components to be exported to the US.

Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs Director-General Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) said at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday that it is a top priority to encourage more Taiwanese investment in the nation’s allies around the globe.

Given the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies, Yeh said that many Central American allies have urged production lines to be moved from China to the region.

By doing so, Taiwanese companies could benefit from free-trade deals governments there have with the US, as well as easier access to the US market.

“Given the situation, we encourage Taiwanese companies to move their production bases to our allies in Central America,” Yeh said.

Several allies in the region have been making similar calls for years, including Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada.

Sierra has repeatedly called on Taiwan to be part of the region’s development to build a “win-win situation” for both sides.

Central America can benefit from the nation’s knowledge and investment, while Taiwan can, from its free-trade deals with those nations, obtain easier access to markets in North and South America, Sierra said.

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