Taiwan will find its own way, despite not being a part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday.
Fifteen Asia-Pacific nations — the 10 ASEAN members, as well as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea — signed the trade deal on Sunday. The members together account for about one-third of the world’s GDP.
Responding to media reports that Taiwan would be left “out in the cold” or “marginalized economically” after the signing of the RCEP, Wang said the effects of the deal would not be “overwhelming” or “immediate.”
“After going through the details it seems that the level of trade liberalization with the RCEP is relatively low,” Wang said. “We do not think it will have a large impact on Taiwanese businesses in the short term.”
“However, of course, we will communicate as soon as possible with business leaders in affected industries to figure out how to improve our competitiveness,” she said.
The local industries that are most likely to be affected are steel, petrochemicals, machinery and textiles, Wang said.
Although subsidies are not being considered, the ministry is open to “helping Taiwanese businesses with research and development,” she said.
The impact of the RCEP is lessened by the fact that many of the signatory nations already have free-trade agreements (FTAs) in place, and many “sensitive items” are not included in the list of goods affected by the deal, Wang said.
“Most of the ASEAN countries already have FTAs with Japan, South Korea and China, and the RCEP does not go far beyond those FTAs in terms of cutting tariffs,” she said. “The bigger deal is, with the RCEP, China and Japan now effectively have an FTA, as do South Korea and Japan.”
Wang said that some items “sensitive to Taiwan,” such as machine tools and upstream materials for nylon fabric, were not liberalized.
“Some of the items we find sensitive are also sensitive to China,” Wang added.
She said that it would have been politically insupportable for Taiwan to try and gain entry into the Beijing-driven RCEP.
“If we had pursued our inclusion in [the RCEP], we would have required the consent of all the countries, including China,” Wang said. “As a condition, China would have certainly demanded that Taiwan agree to the ‘1992 consensus.’ Is this something our people can live with?”
Citing the strength of Taiwanese manufacturers, Wang said Taiwan would strive to participate in other trade deals, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“We are still protected by the Informational Technology Agreement under the WTO, and this ensures that more than half of our exports are tariff-free,” she said.
“When one path is blocked off, we will find another way through,” Wang added.
The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) NT$10 million (US$357,194) and DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) NT$6 million for breaches of the nation’s anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. The NT$10 million fine is the highest penalty that it has imposed on a domestic bank, the commission said. Citibank Taiwan failed to set up a sound mechanism for evaluating clients’ risk of money laundering and for detecting suspicious transactions, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Huang Kuang-hsi (黃光熙) told a news conference in New Taipei City. The bank based its AML policies on those of its US-based parent company, Citigroup Inc, but the policies
BETTING BIG: The world’s most advanced chipmaker might be eyeing an advanced 3-nanometer plant in the US after it finishes setting up its 5-nanometer fab there Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is weighing plans to pump tens of billions of dollars more into cutting-edge chip factories in Arizona than it had previously disclosed, but is cool on prospects for an advanced European plant, people familiar with the matter said. TSMC is the world’s most advanced chipmaker, and its investment plans are being closely watched amid a global chip shortage and new initiatives in the US and Europe to subsidize semiconductor production. TSMC last year announced that it would invest US$10 billion to US$12 billion to build a chip factory in Phoenix. The previously disclosed factory could be
COMPETITIVE: The chip designer is offering an annual compensation of NT$1.5 million to NT$2 million, in addition to cash and stock bonuses to attract workers MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the world’s biggest designer of 5G handset chips, is stepping up its recruitment drive this year, with plans to hire more than 2,000 engineers specializing in core technologies, including 5G, wireless communication and artificial intelligence (AI). That would be double from the more than 1,000 people it hired on average in the past few years, as the Hsinchu-based company looks to boost growth this year and beyond. It also comes as the company plans to launch a new 5G chip, Dimensity 2000 series, which supports mmWave technology and sub-6-gigahertz technology, at the end of this year. That would be
COMPONENTS ISSUE: Hon Hai’s Young Liu said that although prices for components and raw materials have increased, their influence on the company would be limited Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), also known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), yesterday said that a global supply crunch that has hit the consumer electronics and automaking industries will worsen this quarter, after it weathered component shortages to post better-than-expected quarterly profit last quarter. The world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer and main assembler of iPhones reported net income of NT$28.2 billion (US$1 billion) in the first quarter, beating the average NT$24.4 billion of adjusted analyst estimates. Revenue in the second quarter will likely be steady from the previous quarter’s NT$1.35 trillion, as growth in its consumer electronics and components divisions is