ROC seeks trade partnership with friends

Republic of China (popularly known as Taiwan) is keen to foster trade partnership with friendly countries such as India and New Zealand, offering its capital, expertise and entrepreneurship.

Speaking to Indian Newslink, Lincoln Ting, Director General of the Auckland based Taipei Economic and Cultural Office said that his country’s economic policies are focused on four main areas.

Four focus areas

“We want to continue our participation in regional economic integration through trade agreements such as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with trade partners. We believe that such agreements would be beneficial to all participating countries,” he said.

According to him, the second area of focus is the expansion of Taiwan’s business opportunities in global markets.

“We emphasis the importance of examining existing and emerging opportunities in emerging markets such as China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“The third area of our concentration is attracting global investments to Taiwan. We also want to enhance our industrial competitiveness. Our primary emphasis is on increasing industrial competitiveness through innovation, which creates value in a product,” Mr Ting said.

Venture Capital

He said that Taiwan invariably benefits from the good health of the global economy but suffers in its export sector in times of adversity in global trade.

As reported in our last (April 15) issue, the National Development Fund of Taiwan signed an agreement with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund in 2012, providing for joint investment initiatives.

Mr Ting hoped that the partnership would lead to creation of venture capital funds to invest in high-growth companies in both countries.

“There is immense potential for venture capital funding in bio-technology, cultural and creative industries. These funds support for innovation, research and development that are crucial to the enhancement of industrial competitiveness,” he said.

Troubled history

Conflicts and revolutions were a part of Taiwan, beginning with the rule of the Qing Dynasty of China from 1644 to 1912. During the 19th Century, imperial corruption and a series of rebellions and defeats in wars against European powers greatly weakened the Qing. In pursuit of democracy and in response to the decline of the Qing State, the Hsin-hai Revolution (the Xinhai Revolution), led by Dr Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty and established the ROC in 1911.

ROC governed mainland China (known as the People’s Republic of China) until 1949 but lost it during the Chinese Civil War, retreated to Taiwan, with the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) declaring Taipei as its capital.

Economic Miracle

Mr Ting said that the efforts of the government and the people of Taiwan created an economic miracle and the country become a major trade partner with the world in the 1980s.

“The Government lifted its Martial Law in 1987, which is widely considered the first step towards establishment of a democratic state and an open market economy. Taiwan is a small island with a population of 23 million. Although its population ranks 51st worldwide, Taiwan’s trade volume is the 19th largest,” he said.

Taiwan, with its exports claiming more than 60% of its Gross Domestic Product, is among the world’s most trade-dependent economies.

Sister Cities

Taichung, located in West Taiwan (about 115 kms from Taipei) and Auckland are sister cities. In October last year, Auckland Mayor Len Brown visited Taipei and Taichung, with a 23-member delegation.

“Auckland, as the largest city with the largest container port in New Zealand, has enormous resources including a talented and skilled workforce. I hope that Auckland Council can become a big engine to drive cooperation between Auckland and Taichung and promote its relations with the whole of Taiwan,” Mr Ting said.

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