China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
June 9, 2015
Executive Summary: South Korea is Taiwan's major trade competitor. It is also Mainland China's major trading partner. Ask Mainland business leaders whom they prefer to do business with. Is it Korea or Taiwan? The answer is obviously important. The decisions made by business people will determine the future of cross-Strait and PRC-ROK economic and trade relations. As matters stand, the answer appears self-evident.
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South Korea is Taiwan's major trade competitor. It is also Mainland China's major trading partner. Ask Mainland business leaders whom they prefer to do business with. Is it Korea or Taiwan? The answer is obviously important. The decisions made by business people will determine the future of cross-Strait and PRC-ROK economic and trade relations. As matters stand, the answer appears self-evident.
Ma Yun likes Taiwan. He has gone to a great deal of trouble to lecture at NTU. Two thousand admission tickets were snapped up instantly, paralyzing the Net. Unfortunately young peoples' passionate response to Ma Yun has not persuaded the government. As of March and May this year, Alibaba and Taobao remain accused of being "Mainland capital disguised as foreign capital". The Ministry of Economic Affairs has demanded divestiture within six months and a 120,000 NT fine. Ma Yun joked bitterly, saying that the world was changing so fast even he didn't know whether his capital was foreign capital or Mainland capital.
By contrast, Ma Yun's simultaneous overtures to South Korea have been a roaring success. Taobao established itself in South Korea this May. South Korean Deputy Prime Minister gave Alibaba's South Korean Pavilion plentiful media coverage and a high profile debut. According to Mainland China's Commerce Department, the Mainland invested 1.19 billion USD in South Korea in 2014, up from 481 million USD in 2013, a 147.2% increase.
In 2014, the Chinese mainland became, for the first time, a net exporter of capital. Foreign investment reached 120 billion USD. During the first four months, foreign investment surged 36.1% over the same period last year. Mainland capital is welcomed among developed regions. During 2014, Mainland investment in the US increased 23.9%. Mainland investment in the EU increased 1.7 times, far higher than the overall increase in foreign investment. British Ambassador Sebastian Wood said that over the past five years, Mainland Chinese investment in Britain has grown by 85% per annum. The Financial Times estimated that over the next 10 years Britain would desperately need capital for basic infrastucture projects, and provide a major opportunity for Mainland capital.
Mainland capital is welcomed the world over. Only on Taiwan is Mainland capital unwanted. Mainland investors encounter huge institutional barriers on Taiwan. Prior to 2009, Taiwan flatly rejected all Mainland capital. During Ma Ying-jeou's term, the door was opened ever so slightly. But over the past several years, the door has remained partly closed. Consider market access. Foreign capital is allowed unless specifically prohibited. Mainland capital is prohibited unless specifically allowed. Foreign investment is approved after the fact. Mainland investment requires approval before the fact. An excessively high threshold for Mainland capital has long made capital investment in Taiwan difficult. Last year, the Sunflower Student Movement halted the entry of Mainland capital. According to Executive Yuan Investment Commission statistics, January-November 2014 approved Mainland capital projects fell by 10% over the same period last year.
Taiwan still has a considerable store of wealth. It considers its funds sufficient. It says it "lacks markets, not capital". But regional economic integration is real. Taiwan and South Korea have highly similar industrial and trade structures. In recent years, the global economy has cooled. Governments everywhere are seeking opportunities abroad. South Korea has taken the lead. 2014 data shows that the FTA coverage rate for the US, EU, ASEAN, and other economies reached 36.81%, six times that of Taiwan. South Korean FTA is expected to take effect. Mainland capital is turning toward South Korea. Foreign capital is also likely turn toward Mainland China. Investment in Taiwan continues to shrink.
Taiwan should have little difficulty recognizing its own dilemma. A sluggish domestic market, low return on capital, a substantial outflow of foreign capital, money unable to make money, and a loss of economic dynamism. Private capital investment in real estate has inflated housing prices, provoking public resentment. Faced with similar predicaments, South Korea maintained open markets. Taiwan did the opposite. Beginning last year, Taiwan broke off talks on the STA, MTA, and other market integration processes. It continues to impose limits on industry, and sits idly by while the Mainland and South Korea increase cooperation, enhancing the competitiveness of South Korea relative to Taiwan. Taiwan fears competition, yet stubbornly rejects Mainland capital. This is sure to accelerate the economy's downward spiral.
The Mainland economy is a giant magnet. It has large volume and a strong magnetic field. Taiwan has no alternative. Ernst & Young says the purpose of the Mainland's One Belt, One Road is to advance its competitive industries and transfer surplus production capacity to countries along the way. Mainland capital is leading regional economic change. If Taiwan's habitual rejection of Mainland capital persists, it will soon be marginalized by regional integration. By then the question will not be whether Taiwan allows Mainland capital to come to Taiwan, but whether the Mainland is willing to let Taiwan play at its table.
Taiwan's difficulties require clear thinking. Taiwan must change course and get back on track. For Beijing, Taiwan's upcoming 2016 election presents a multitude of political variables. To avoid uncertainty, the Mainland's policy toward Taiwan will naturally become more cautious and conservative.
The Mainland authorities must realize that winning hearts and minds is the basis of all political and economic strategy. The Sunflower Student Movement marks the appearance of the younger generation on the stage of history. Their vision will determine the peoples' future. Mainland China must adopt a policy that inspires young people. For example, young people on Taiwan are most concerned about rising housing prices and their inability to buy a home. The Mainland may wish to consider consultation with the SEF. The Mainland could invest in the construction of decent housing, providing low-cost housing to young people wh need homes. Shattering stereotypes, and exploring the feasibility of such moves is better than nothing.
如果問陸商企究竟比較哈韓還是哈台？答案顯然非常重要， 因為商企的動向將決定中韓與兩岸經貿關係的榮枯， 眼下這個問題的答案似不言自明。
秒殺，還一度造成網路癱瘓。 但馬雲的熱情與年輕人的回應並未能說服政府對馬雲手下留情。今年 3月和5月阿里巴巴和淘寶涉嫌「陸資冒充外資」， 被經濟部限半年撤資並罰款12萬元。馬雲自我解嘲「 世界變化太快」，連自己也搞不清「是外資還是陸資」。
月阿里巴巴「南韓館」請到南韓副總理高規格站台後光榮登場。 根據大陸商務部數據，中國大陸2014年對韓全年投資申報額由2 013年的4.81億美元升至11.9億美元，增幅高達147. 2%。
億美元，今年前4個月對外投資同比勁增36.1%。 陸資在發達地區廣受接納，2014年對美國投資增23.9%， 對歐盟投資更暴增1.7倍，遠高於對外投資總體增速。 英駐華大使吳百納稱，過去5年中國大陸對英投資年均增85%， 英國《金融時報》預計未來10年英國基建投資缺口巨大， 陸資極具潛力。
卻難於上青天。大陸投資人在台灣遭遇巨大的制度壁壘，2009年 之前台灣對陸資完全關閉，馬英九執政後才小小開放， 但好幾年過去仍是「猶抱琵琶半遮面」。在市場准入上， 對外資實施「負面表列」，對陸資則是「正面表列」；對外資「 事後申報」，對陸資則「事先申報核准」。 過高門檻使陸資投資台灣始終難以開展， 去年太陽花學運更造成陸資卻步後果，據行政院投審會統計，201 4年1至11月獲核准的陸資入台項目同期銳減超過一成。
只缺市場不缺錢」。但要正視的是，區域經濟融合是大趨勢， 台灣與南韓產業及貿易結構高度相似，近年全球經濟遇冷， 各國都在創造更大的外部機會，這方面南韓已占盡先機。2014年 資料顯示，其與美國、歐盟、東協等多個經濟體出口貿易的FTA覆 蓋率達36.81%，是台灣的6倍。預計中韓FTA生效後， 不僅更多陸資轉投南韓，外資亦可能減少來台而轉往大陸， 對台投資將繼續萎縮。
資金回報率低，外資大幅流出，「錢不能生錢」，經濟活力消退。 以民間資本為主導的投資轉向房地產，炒高房價又引發民怨。 在相似的困境下，南韓秉持積極開放的策略，台灣卻是反其道而行。 去年以來台灣與大陸中斷了包括《服貿協議》、《貨貿協議》 在內的所有一體化進程，產業上繼續劃地自限， 坐視大陸和南韓深化合作基礎，提升南韓對台灣的競爭力。 台灣懼怕競爭，又對陸資「嚴防慎拒」， 經濟勢必加速陷入內縮困局。
一衣帶水的台灣別無選擇。安永事務所稱，大陸意欲借助「 一帶一路」，推進其優勢產業和富餘產能向沿線國家轉移， 陸資正在主導區域經濟變局。若台灣「防拒陸資」格局不破， 不要許多時日，台灣就將在區域一體化的進程中自動退居邊緣， 或許，屆時要傷腦筋的就不是「台灣讓不讓陸資來」，而是「 陸資帶不帶台灣玩」。
太陽花學運以來，台灣青年一代已登上歷史舞台， 他們的願景就是未來民心所向。 大陸應該選擇一個讓年輕人最有感的政策，大膽推動。譬如， 台灣年輕人最在意房價高漲「沒有房產」， 大陸不妨以新思維主動與海基會協商， 由大陸投入資金廣建合宜住宅，低價供應無住屋年輕人。打破成見， 探討可行性，積極作為，聊勝於無。