Premier picks up the pace for New Southbound Policy and key trade agreements

At today's meeting of the Executive Yuan's Committee on Global Economic and Trade Strategies, Premier Lin Chuan underscored the need to promote the digital economy, international trade, Taiwan's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the New Southbound Policy.

After being briefed on the second Taiwan-U.S. Digital Economy Forum held in Washington on October 13 and the 10th round of bilateral talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, Lin said that trends in global trade and economics point towards a virtual platform that transcends national borders. To develop trade and other economic activities in the future, he said, it is therefore necessary to fortify Taiwan's developmental environment for a digital economy now. He then asked the relevant ministries and agencies to study developmental policies from around the world and harmonize Taiwan's domestic laws, regulations and other mechanisms to integrate the nation's developmental advantages.

The premier also directed the National Development Council to actively participate in U.S.-led digital economy initiatives under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and coordinate Taiwan's efforts to conform to the policies and practices under APEC's Cross Border Privacy Rules system.

Noting that progress on TPP negotiations may be delayed due to the U.S. presidential election, Lin stressed that the TPP will nevertheless become a standard for multilateral, regional and bilateral trade in the future, so to become more competitive, Taiwan must continue to adopt regulations and carry out other tasks to transform the nation's economic structure in accordance with TPP standards.

After discussing New Southbound Policy planning with various ministries and agencies at the committee meeting, the premier reiterated that this policy is people-oriented, consolidating industries and cementing mutually beneficial, long-term, stable bilateral ties through people-to-people interaction and exchanges. This will create ties unlikely to be affected by political changes in the target countries, while also facilitating the signing of bilateral investment protection agreements to better safeguard the investments and economic activities of overseas Taiwanese businesses. Lin directed the government bodies involved to re-think and evaluate their key strategies and goals in light of these fundamental principles, communicate with businesses to hear their feedback, and actively promote Taiwan among all the target countries.

Since the people of Taiwan have high expectations of the New Southbound Policy, Lin said that when mapping out their plans, ministries and agencies must have clear strategies and concrete targets, and can promote this policy by integrating the resources of private-sector businesses and organizations. The premier thus instructed the meeting attendees to quickly revise their plans based on the decisions reached during the day's discussions so that they can be made public and implemented soon.

Source: Executive Yuan