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Expert names Russia as target for ROC goods

TAIPEI -- Russia could prove to be a profitable market for turning around Taiwan's export-driven manufacturing sectors, particularly flat panel, IT and machinery industries, a senior researcher at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) suggested yesterday.

Russia, which joined the World Trade Organization as its 156th member in 2012, has promised to cut tariffs on IT products to zero on the eighth year of its WTO membership, noted Wu Fu-cheng, deputy director of the TIER's Department of International Affairs. He was speaking at an industrial and commercial forum on Russia's WTO accession.

Wu called a future tariff-free Russia a big opportunity for Taiwanese exporters of computers and peripherals, semiconductors, and electronic parts and components, noting that bilateral trade has grown more than 20 percent in recent years despite global slowdown.

At the same time, he warned that Taiwan has been less active in pursuing opportunities in Russia than South Korea and Japan have.

Taiwanese products have fallen behind those from South Korean and Japanese firms, which promote their brands before bringing products to market, he said.

He recommended that Taiwan's government follow the example of Japan, which listed exports to Russia as part of its national development strategy and formed a task force dedicated to working with industry leaders to focus on that market.

Taiwan's Yulong Motor is promoting its Luxgen brand in Russia, while HTC Corp. has said it is preparing to increase its investments and promotional efforts in the country.

Speaking on the current high-tension relations between Russia and Ukraine, the economist predicted that the impact would not last long.

Ukraine will always be a buffer between Russia and the European Union, he contended, expecting the two countries would eventually shake hands and make up with one another.

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