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Ex-VP calls to transform nation into value-added service center

TAIPEI--Taiwan should modify its growth model and try to position itself as an Asia-Pacific regional value-added service center to increase the country's economic value, former Vice President Vincent Siew said Monday.

“Our growth model has been overly focused on export-oriented contract manufacturing and now is the time for change as shifts in global economic trends have threatened our economic well-being,” Siew said at a seminar on Taiwan's economic future, sponsored by the United Daily News Group.

As an open economy on a small island, Taiwan needs to fully use its longtime trade relations with Japan, the United States and major Southeast Asian nations and its advantages in economic relations with China to turn itself into a platform for regional integration and benefit-sharing in the Asia-Pacific region, Siew contended.

The recent economic slowdown in China and South Korea's growing competitiveness have brought uncertainty to Taiwan's export prospects, and Taiwan should respond by adjusting its export-led model to place more emphasis on creating jobs and domestic demand, Siew said.

Taiwan should also invest more in upgrading the general quality of life, protecting the natural environment and enhancing value-added manufacturing, said Siew, who was vice president from 2008-2012 during President Ma Ying-jeou's first term.

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