Taiwan might face a decline in foreign trade with China if the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) ends this year, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday.
The agreement, which was signed and put into effect in 2010 to reduce trade barriers across the Taiwan Strait, is expected to end this year, despite not having an exact termination date.
“We have not received notification [from China] that it wishes to terminate ECFA,” Shen told reporters prior to attending a meeting at the Legislative Yuan. “Even if we are notified, the agreement would only cease after six months.”
While acknowledging the potential effects on Taiwan’s economy, Shen said termination of the agreement would affect less than 5 percent of commercial exchanges with China.
“The essential thing is for our industries to upgrade and transform,” Shen said, adding that companies should expand their commercial horizons to prepare for any disruptions in the agreement.
Separately, when asked about previously announced e-commerce vouchers to boost the local economy, Shen said that the ministry has already outlined a few general ideas for issuing them.
On Wednesday, Shen revealed that the ministry plans to provide discounts of 20 to 25 percent on purchases made online with the vouchers.
“The point is not to have people making big purchases in one go, but to spend on a day-to-day basis,” Shen said, adding that the vouchers would mainly be valid for daily necessities.
In other news, the ministry yesterday approved applications from eight small and medium-sized enterprises to invest about NT$2 billion (US$66.1 million) in the nation through a government program.
Food products suppliers Fu Che Frozen Food Co Ltd (福記冷凍食品) and Feng Fang Food Co Ltd (芬芳烹材) plan to invest more than NT$400 million each to expand existing production in Taiwan.
Morrison Opto-Electronics Ltd (耀穎光電), which makes optical thin-film coatings and components, is to invest more than NT$300 million to expand production, the ministry said.
Medical equipment suppliers Sangtech Lab Inc (笙特科技) and Medimaging Integrated Solution Inc (晉弘科技) are to invest NT$200 million and NT$100 million respectively to introduce automated production to existing plants.
Sewing machine component supplier Donwei Machinery Industry Co Ltd (東緯機械), manufacturer Jien Wei Knitting Co Ltd (建瑋棉織) and jewelry maker Su-Ao International Corp (豐昌行國際) are to invest a combined NT$400 million.
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