ECFA and East Asian Economic Integration
Opening Remarks by Tsai Hsun-hsiung,
Chairman of Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Technology Economics Group
Translated by Bevin Chu
April 22, 2011
Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
Vice President Siew, foreign guests, ladies and gentlemen, how do you do!
One. The purpose of the seminar.
I am honored to be here as the opening speaker for the International Conference on ECFA and East Asian Economic Integration. The presence of so many important people, confirms that this is an important issue. In recent years, bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) between nations, or free trade zones formed by several nations, has become an unmistakable trend. In June 2010, Taipei and Beijing signed an historic cross-strait economic cooperation framework agreement, or ECFA. These two developments have had a significant impact on cross-Strait economic exchanges and trade. But more than that, they have had a huge impact on East Asian trade. Therefore, inviting scholars from nations throughout East Asia and convening such a meeting at this time is particularly meaningful.
This symposium is the result of a research project, "The Republic of China's Strategy for Economic and Industrial Technology Cooperation with the Major Nations of East Asia," which was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and carried out by the National Policy Foundation.
This research project addresses the era introduced by the signing of ECFA. It asks how the Republic of China can strengthen economic and industrial and technical cooperation with the major nations of East Asia. It explores the possibility of free trade agreements. This project was divided into three parts: Regional integration in the East Asian region and its impact on Taiwan's economic, industrial, and technological development. Economic, industrial, and technological cooperation strategy between the Republic of China and the major East Asian nations. Cross-Strait economic, industrial, and technological cooperation strategies under East Asian regional integration. We hope the completion of the project will help the Republic of China increase cooperation with East Asian nations. We hope the signing of the cross-Strait economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) will create new opportunities for economic cooperation with East Asian nations.
The research team has held three seminars on Taiwan. It has also visited think tanks and industrial research organizations in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. It has conducted highly fruitful, in-depth interviews. Today, scholars from many East Asian nations have been invited to Taiwan, to participate in an International Seminar on ECFA and Economic Integration in East Asia. We hope that domestic and foreign experts, including Ken Waller, Director of the Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT University; Robert Scollay, Director of the New Zealand APEC Study Centre; Tong Yueting, Assistant Professor at the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore; Somkiat Tangkitvanich, Vice President of the Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation; Saowaruj Rattanakhamfu, Research Fellow with the Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation; and Eiji Ogawa, Vice President of Hitotsubashi University; and others, will offer wide-ranging suggestions in response to the preliminary research results of our project.
Two. Taiwan has an excellent investment environment and provides a springboard by which to enter the Mainland market.
Taiwan is a tiny island, lacking in natural resources. Yet it is a leader in information technology. It is among the highest volume manufacturers of high quality industrial products in the world. It boasts geographical advantages, high-tech production capabilities, the ability to innovate, a friendly investment and business environment. It has abundant human resources, a solid industrial base, and the public infrastructure and tax structure of an advanced industrial nation. According to "2010 World Competitiveness," a report issued by the Lausanne International Institute for Management Development, the Republic of China ranked 8th in the world. It was the nation showing the greatest improvement. If other nations invest in Taiwan, or strengthen cooperation with the Republic of China, the rewards will be enormous.
Also, with the rise of Mainland China, other nations see valuable opportunities in the Mainland market. Taiwan and Mainland China provide an advantage, because they have the same language and culture. Taiwan has considerable experience investing in Mainland China. Therefore Taiwan is the best partner for foreign investors when entering the Mainland market. Foreign investors can benefit from this. They can strengthen cooperation with Taiwan, and form partnerships prior to entering the Mainland market. This enables them to benefit from a multiplier effect.
Taiwan offers tremendous advantages. It is well suited to becoming an international R & D center, a producer of high value added products, as well as a springboard for foreign investors entering the Mainland market. We hope that when our guests return home, they can speak on behalf of economic, industrial, and technical cooperation between the Republic of China and their own nations. We hope they will invest in Taiwan, and sign free trade agreements with the Republic of China.
First, scholars from Australia, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan will issue a special report. Then research experts from the Republic of China will offer their own comments. The invited scholars from home and abroad, are all leaders in their own field. On behalf of this research project, they will provide solid logic and comprehensive analysis. The results will be well worth the wait.
Vice President Vincent Siew will deliver the keynote speech. Vice President Siew is my old boss. He has a wealth of experience. He was once Republic of China premier, a member of the Republic of China Legislature, Chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, Minister of Economic Affairs, and Vice Chairman of the KMT. He is a veteran of the legislature and the diplomatic service. He is an expert in economics and trade, with extensive experience in political affairs, Mainland relations. and trade negotiations. He is eminently familiar with the theme of this conference. His presentation is certain to be fascinating.
Now let us give a hearty welcome to Vice President Siew, who will deliver the keynote speech!
（Opening Ceremony, Tsai, Hsung-Hsiung
Chairman, Sinotech Engineering Concultants, INC）
研究團隊已經在國內舉行三場座談會，並分赴日本、南韓、新加坡、泰國、紐西蘭、澳洲、菲律賓與馬來西亞等國的智庫與產業研究單位，進行深入的訪談，成果相當豐碩。今天更邀請東亞各國的學者來台灣，舉行ECFA與東亞經濟整合國際研討會，希望透過國內外專家包括澳洲RMIT 大學APEC研究中心執行長Ken Waller（Director, the Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT University）；紐西蘭APEC研究中心執行長Robert Scollay（Director, New Zealand APEC Study Centre）；新加坡國立大學東亞研究中心童月婷助理教授（Tong Yueting：Assistant Professor, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore）；泰國發展研究院的Somkiat Tangkitvanich副院長（Vice President, Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation）與Saowaruj Rattanakhamfu研究員（Research Fellow, Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation）；及日本一橋大學Eiji Ogawa副校長（Vice President, Hitotsubashi University）等人的討論，對於我們這次計畫的初步研究成果，提供廣泛的建議。