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Pact important to Taiwan's economic future: academics

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A service trade agreement with China is important to Taiwan, as economic integration through bilateral and regional accords has become a growing trend in the world, according to foreign academics.

For Taiwan, the service trade agreement will foster its efforts to move higher in the value-added chain, said Dan Steinbock, research director of the International Business, India, China and American Institute in Georgia, United States, in a recent interview with CNA.

The accord is also “critical to protect Taiwan's current sources of competitive advantage and to build new sources of advantage,” since the country's economic model relies on export-led growth, he added.

Steinbock said Taiwan needs to embrace new trade agreements and broaden, as well as deepen, economic ties with advanced and emerging economies, particularly with China, which is Asia's growth engine.

He pointed out that most nations have opted for regional trade pacts, and regional integration is set to escalate with the ongoing talks over the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes China.

In addition, greater integration will foster peace and security, and subsequently boost growth and prosperity, he said.

If Taiwan chooses not to integrate regionally, Steinbock said, it will not be able to maintain its high living standards over time.

“Why should one choose stagnation when one can win prosperity?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Duncan Freeman, a senior research fellow at the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Study in Belgium, said in a separate interview that services are set to become the source of growth for the future, and a service trade pact will create opportunities for both Taiwan and China.

Increased access to service markets in China, Freeman said, will benefit Taiwanese companies, although it may also increase dependence on the mainland market.

A global agreement through the World Trade Organization would be more effective than a bilateral pact in developing trade but that is a remote possibility at the moment, he said.

March 24, 2014    edann77@
"If Taiwan chooses not to integrate regionally, Steinbock said, it will not be able to maintain its high living standards over time."

We should not expect everyone to understand the cause and effect relationship even if it appears as simple as ABC to some. People fear the monster they cannot see under the bed.
March 24, 2014    angel@
Well said. I think most of the young generation here are very ignorant of trade issues. “Why should one choose stagnation when one can win prosperity?” They are worried about the jobs/opportunities, the future which shows lacks of wisdom. To worry about the present is enough for tomorrow will take care of itself.
March 24, 2014    bengbenghuat@
The students are worried with the service pact.
We - outside Taiwan - are also worried, if Taiwan and China have this pact.
We are worried that most of the business from China will go to Taiwan instead to us in South-East Asia.
March 24, 2014    kingsolomon@
It doesn't matter how explanations are presented if one is prejudiced against it from the very beginning they will never accept it. Don’t waste time explaining it to a bunch of selfish, arrogant, and greedy bunch of losers.
March 25, 2014    michaeltaiwan@
It's not all trade, trade, trade, lots of lovely money. There are some things like personal freedoms that figure in too! Duh!
March 30, 2014    ginoda@
I wonder if this so-called expert Dan Steinbock did read at all the terms of the trade pact to be so sure that the pact is oh so important and oh so good to Taiwan's economic future.
May 6, 2014    ntcmtlpeterlee@
Does Dan Steinbock know the real status and situation in Taiwan & China better than Taiwanese? Has he studied and understood the controversial service trade pact so much as the concerned Taiwanese scholars, experts, professors and students in graduate schools and universities, who are definitely much more concerned about the future of Taiwan than an outsider? If the answers to the above 2 simple questions are not positive, then his comment is a piece of junk, even if not bullshit, because the theoretical principle he was trying to apply in our case has been well understood and considered by most of the intellectuals in Taiwan who have voiced out and stood out to fight for the benefit and future of Taiwan and all the people thereon.
May 6, 2014    boringsolomon@
kingsolomon wrote, probably with himself in mind:
"Don’t waste time explaining it to a bunch of selfish, arrogant, and greedy bunch of losers"
He seems to talk from personal experience.
May 6, 2014    eddy@
KingSolomon from BOOOORING to insulting. You are finally evolving! PREDICTABLE ignorant reaction to arrogant Chinese desperation!
May 6, 2014    lisahhs@
@kingsolomon

What's wrong love - is your favorite team losing perhaps?
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