Experts urge action to cushion impact by imminent signing of free trade pact
By: Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
RCEP negotiations — a free trade agreement for nations in the Asia Pacific — made significant progress in 2019 after its launch in 2012. The trade pact is set to be signed by 15 member states in the region, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and 10 ASEAN nations, despite India opting out last year, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
With Taiwan blocked from participating in the trade bloc, local firms would seek to move out to avoid tariffs, said Tsai Lien-sheng (蔡練生), secretary-general of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI), at a symposium on ECFA Wednesday (Aug. 26). RCEP members accounted for 59 percent of Taiwan’s trade in 2019, wrote China Times.
Tsai called for a government-led response to the potential fallout of the trade arrangement, by assisting companies to relocate to Southeast Asia and countries like Mexico. The plans can be realized, for example, by inking investment agreements with target countries and setting up industrial parks to accommodate Taiwanese businesses. [FULL STORY]