President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday Taiwan’s economy must not rely solely on China, but instead should expand to emerging markets with a strong base of consumers such as Russia, Brazil, India and Indonesia.
Ma said dealing with China required caution. Despite the threat China poses because of its deployment of more than 1,400 missiles targeted at Taiwan, it also presents many opportunities, he said.
“Some people are worried about China’s ‘united front’ tactics, saying we are like a frog being cooked in warm water without knowing the danger. Of course we must be careful when we are dealing with the mainland,” Ma said while meeting members of the China Youth Career Development Association Headquarters at the Presidential Office.
With government efforts to improve cross-strait relations, Ma said his administration has minimized threats and maximized opportunities.
Although Taiwan is in an economic doldrums, he has seen glimpses of light recovery, he said.
It may take a while, possibly to the end of the year, before we see economic statistics turn from negative to positive, he said, adding that the economy had a U-shape, meaning it would not rebound immediately but gradually.
Ma said Taiwan used to see China as a factory, but now it should consider it as a market. Only with such a change of mind can Taiwan increase its ability to respond to the changing global situation, he said.
Ma said speedy recovery of the country’s flat panel industry had a lot to do China’s domestic market. Ma said Taiwan was unlikely to see a dramatic change in its export-driven economy, but it could diversify its market.
Only with diversified markets could businesses decentralize the risks, he said.
Apart from Europe and the US, emerging markets with large populations and a strong base of consumption, such as Brazil, India, Russia and Indonesia, should be seen as good destinations for the country’s products, which are better quality and cost less, he said.
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