Why Taiwan should be part of second-round TPP deal
Taiwan has begun lobbying to be considered to be part of any future expansion of the Trans Pacific Partnership.
OPINION: I extend sincere congratulations to New Zealand for its role in the complex 12-nation negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement concluded in October.
I would also like to take this occasion to reiterate Taiwan's interest in joining the trade bloc.
Taiwan is an important economy in the Asia-Pacific with a vital role in the region's supply chain.
The country is vigorously promoting trade liberalisation in response to regional integration and global economic challenges.
It is also working with other Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation members to push infrastructure programs that have created visible benefits for the international community.
Close economic connections such as these are foundational to peace and stability in the region, which is why Taiwan must be included in the second round of TPP negotiations.
Over the past decade, Taiwan has tripled its trade volume with Asia-Pacific countries.
Its trade volume with the 12 TPP members has reached US$200 billion a year.
As the world's 27th-largest economy, Taiwan contributes considerably to industry, technology and investments around the globe, establishing long-term alliances with international brands and building cooperative ties with TPP member states.
Further, TPP countries are important destinations for Taiwan's foreign direct investment while Taiwan's import market, worth nearly US$300 billion a year, is a lucrative target for TPP exporters.
If Taiwan were excluded from the trade bloc, it would spell a major loss for the entire Asia-Pacific supply chain.
Taiwan and New Zealand have long enjoyed close and friendly relations.
On July 10, 2013, the two countries signed the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC), an effective pact that has improved bilateral trade.
The two sides will continue using ANZTEC exchanges to broaden economic ties.
The success of this agreement is a testament to Taiwan's readiness and ability to take part in the TPP.
The two countries already have strong foundations in merchandise and services trade.
New Zealand's fruit and nut products are popular with Taiwanese consumers and its butter, dairy, meat and fruit command large market shares here.
Meanwhile, demand for services continues to grow here.
By supporting Taiwan's inclusion in the TPP, New Zealand would not only create business opportunities for itself but also support the two countries' common desire for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
Mao Chi-kuo, Premier, Republic of China (Taiwan)