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Industry groups strive for economic recovery

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Six major industry and commercial associations yesterday congregated at a banquet to commemorate the Lunar New Year, with government officials in attendance pledging to lead Taiwan toward economic recovery in the Year of the Horse by forging ahead with cross-strait and regional trade agreements.

Attendants at the event include President Ma Ying-jeou, Premier Jiang Yi-huah and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, who pledged to fully push for Taiwan's accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with similar fervor as was exhibited a few decades ago. They also pledged to expedite legislative approval of the recently inked service industries trade agreement with China. In addition, government officials pledged to vastly improve Taiwan's investment environment and support the establishment of free economic pilot zones.

In his address, Wang Chih-kang (王志剛), Chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) stated that this year will mark a pivotal turning point as the global economy begins to recover from a slump that has persisted for the past five years. While recounting President Ma Ying-jeou's New Year's Day address, Wang stated that TAITRA will fully commit the organization's resources toward the nation's primary objective: stimulating economic recovery.

Wang mentioned countless accolades earned by Taiwanese participants in a number of international events, including the iF and Red Dot design awards, as a testament to Taiwan's boundless creative talent. "The key to Taiwan's economic recovery is innovation," said Wang, while announcing TAITRA's initiative to establish a trade show designed to showcase local talent. The trade show will leverage the prowess of the local financial, venture capital, manufacturing and retail sectors in a bid to bring innovations from concept to full commercialization, creating a future of sustainable prosperity. Wang, however, warned that amid efforts to open Taiwan's markets and deregulation to stimulate economic recovery, local enterprises must bolster their abilities in innovating and creating value in facing heightened competition from abroad.

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