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DBS Bank Taiwan hosts Asian Insights forums

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Asian Insights Conference (AIC) hosted by DBS Bank Taiwan (星展銀行) took place yesterday in Taiwan, featuring discussions by notable speakers delving into the development trends of the renminbi and offshore financial centers as well as the future of electronic commerce.

Established in 2013, the AIC forum platform this year took place in Taipei for the first time, featuring heavyweight speakers of their respective disciplines, including former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), Jan Hung-tze (詹宏志), chairman of Taiwan's leading Internet portal PChome, Cheng Cheng-mount (鄭貞茂), president of the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance (台灣金融研訓院), former finance minister Christina Liu (劉憶如), Peter Seah (佘林發), chairman of DBS Group Holdings & DBS Bank, and Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Group.

In the event's opening address, Vincent Siew stated that, beset by domestic and international factors, current economic challenges may not be surmounted through fiscal and monetary policies alone, and participation in Asia's regional trade pacts remains Taiwan's sole path toward prosperity — namely, the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) of the ASEAN nations. Siew stated that despite encouraging steps in the establishment of free trade agreements with New Zealand, progress remains lacking. Siew noted that, as Asian nations bolster ties, priority should be placed on integrating disparate regional economies to attract investments toward much-needed improvements in infrastructure.

Taiwan Has Mistaken Notions of Offshore Financial Center Status: Liu

During her address, Christina Liu remarked on a number of common misconceptions about Taiwan's progress toward attaining status as one of Asia's most prominent offshore financial centers. According to Liu, while Taiwan has rapidly attracted nearly 300 billion in reminbi-denominated deposits over the course of last year, Hong Kong remains a more pivotal regional offshore financial center. Liu stated that it is not idle deposits that make an offshore financial center flourish, but the availability of options for the utilization of funds. Hong Kong's rise to prominence as a vital Asian financial hub lies in its support of renminbi as a currency for international trade settlements, a trait shared by Macau and a number of ASEAN nations. By contrast, the lack of avenues of outflow for renminbi deposits in Taiwan represents a long-term risk in the far horizon, said Liu. Liu noted that while the availability of outflows are improving following the launching of Formosa Bonds, setbacks in the completion of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement have halted the realization of the 100-billion outflow avenues extended by China through the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme (RQFII). In addition, Taiwan is continually plagued by its inability to attract foreign direct investments.

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Peter Seah (佘林發), chairman of DBS Group Holdings & DBS Bank greeting former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) at the Asian Insights Conference yesterday in Taipei. During his address Siew reiterated the importance of Taiwan's participation in regional trade blocs. (CNA)

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