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'Big problem' for Taiwan without trade pact: IMD

TAIPEI -- Despite continued controversy over the service trade agreement with China, Taiwan could face big trouble without it down the road, according to experts from the International Institute for Management and Development (IMD).

The deal “is critical for the long-term competitiveness of Taiwan” and for local development of the services sector, said Dominique Turpin, president of the Switzerland-based institute, Friday during a visit to Taiwan.

If the deal is not passed through the Legislature, “then you have a big problem,” he told CNA, adding that Taiwan would also stand to lose its credibility as a reliable player in international negotiations.

He flatly dismissed the feasibility of renegotiating the pact with China, as some protesters have demanded.

“My understanding is that mainland China said: This is it. You take it, or you don't. I don't think (the) mainland is willing to renegotiate,” he said.

“So it's very risky for Taiwan not to have this agreement in place,” he added.

Political disputes aside, Taiwan needs special relations with China, said Turpin, calling the Chinese economy a “big fish” that is so influential that any country would find it difficult to avoid close ties.

Arturo Bris, a finance professor at IMD, echoed Turpin's view, calling it “striking” to see how much more beneficial the agreement is to Taiwan than to China, without elaborating.

At a forum about world competitiveness held by the Taipei-based Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce later Friday, Turpin said the ongoing dispute over the trade pact with China was due to lack of communication.

“The long-term applications are not fully well-understood by the public,” he said during a question-and-answer session.

The government needs to do a better job to communicate and explain the positive prospects of the agreement, as the pact is actually “a win-win game,” said Turpin.

Taiwan was ranked 11th in the IMD 2013 global competitiveness rankings, down four notches from 2012, due mainly to a weak domestic economy and employment figures.

The 2014 report will not be released until May 20, the institute said.

April 19, 2014    kingsolomon@
The DPP thinks that Taiwan is the bigger fish, that is why they are demanding and dictating the government what to do, and they are the world's top economic experts, too. Every body must approve their demands because they are the experts. Do you still think they are going to listen to the IMD and other economic think tanks of the world? No way, unless it is their way.
April 19, 2014    hanssc@
You mean the Dominique Turpin who founded the Lorange Business School in Zurich with donations from the "China Zentrum Schweiz" (China Center Switzerland)? You mean that Dominque Turpin who previously was in the pocket of companies like Coca Cola and Nestle - to fill his own pockets? You mean that Turpin who is in the pocket of China as Europe's International Business School in Shanghai? You mean that Turpin who is an expert on brand management but has never published on anything political? You mean that Turpin who was in Taiwan to talk at a forum held by the CHINESE National Association of Industry and Commerce and was later "invited" by Ma to say what he said?
April 19, 2014    mrteekwai@
What about citing the local Taiwan experts giving us a detailed rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of this particular trade pact between Taiwan and China? That would be more convincing than quoting Mr. Wai-guo Ren so-and-so (that no one heard about before) saying it for Taiwan, surely?
April 19, 2014    edann77@
'Political disputes aside, Taiwan needs special relations with China, said Turpin, calling the Chinese economy a “big fish” that is so influential that any country would find it difficult to avoid close ties.

Arturo Bris, a finance professor at IMD, echoed Turpin's view, calling it “striking” to see how much more beneficial the agreement is to Taiwan than to China, without elaborating.'

Unfortunately, to elaborate more would be viewed by the low-informed crowd as being insulting, selling out Taiwan, and undemocratic. Taiwan's politicians have failed to listen and communicate. Failed to lead!
April 21, 2014    anotherdog58@
Dominque Turpin's (based in Switzerland!) are more than ridiculous: did Switzerland join the EU? Did Switzerland recently vote against EU contracts? Did Switzerland start to starve when negotiations failed? Would Switzerland ever accept a statement "This is it"?
April 21, 2014    sally@
kingsolomon@:
BOOOOOORING….
April 21, 2014    kingarthur@
@anotherdog58

Turpin identifies as much with Switzerland as I do with Germany (I'm Dutch). Good old Dominique has always followed $$ and personal power.
Worse even than Ma.
April 21, 2014    flock77aln@
for edann77:

Dear Sir,

Not every Chinese is as rude as you are, and educated people are usually better behaved than those who have had a lower standard of education. This fact already tells me something about your kind. But let me give you a bit of your own Chinese medicine:

Chinese like yourself cannot be overly smart or they would revolt against their leaders. All Chinese CCP rulers must dumb down their people. They are controlling the media and the information flow. Smart Taiwanese will find way to defect and bail out of the potential hell-hole.

See how easy it is for a smarter person to imitate a less smarter one? If you maintain that Taiwanese like myself are low-informed, then here's a challenge for you: write one meaningful comment about the issue at hand - something you have not managed in your handful of comments in your recent comments. It's precisely your comments that stand out in its ignorance.

A. Lin
April 22, 2014    evann5hsh@
For the KMT, in a position that is little changed from the martial law era, the Taiwanese will ultimately accept Chinese investment and act in their narrow financial interests rather than over political or cultural ideals.
For the opponents of the CSSTA, in a fear that also echoes the martial law period, Taiwanese identity will dissolve in a media, cultural and educational environment gradually dominated by a Chinese identity politics that will come with mainland investment.
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