More than two decades ago, I ran an import business of home appliances in Taiwan. It was in the midst of the Taiwan Economic Miracle Era when it was named one of Four Asian Tiger nations.
I came to Australia with my family and continued managing my import business. From my experiences in Australia, I learned the importance of free trade tariffs and business investment, and I was amazed by the great living environment here.
Now, the time has changed, and new challenges ensue. The United States and China encounter frictions in trades, and Australia and China’s trade relationship is under adjustment.
Needless to say, when COVID-19 came into the world quickly and unexpectedly, it led to a restructuring of the global supply chain and profound changes in the world trade arena.
Taiwan has been dependent on a single market for a long time. Now it has to ensure free trade relationships with other markets so as to maintain its global competitiveness.
That is why it is of huge significance for Taiwan to be part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, a free trade agreement that Taiwan already submitted an application to join on Sep. 22, 2021.
CPTPP was established on Mar. 8, 2018, in Santiago, Chile, and its current members include Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. This agreement covers a population of 500 million people from 11 countries, accounting for 13 percent of the global GDP.
Many of the member countries are Taiwan’s close and important trade partners, accounting for over 24 percent of Taiwan’s international trade volumes.
This trade agreement could act as an important international vehicle for Taiwan to engage in a balanced set of international economic relationships.
It could also play a crucial role in diversifying fields of trade agreements, service, intellectual property, environment-related industries, and more.
Australia is one of the CPTPP nations. Our Taiwanese communities have visited members of federal parliament several times to seek their support of Taiwan’s membership in parliament.
As of now, we have received nothing but a friendly and positive response. As it has been acting throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping.
To prepare itself to join CPTPP, Taiwan’s government has been working on required legislations, continuously exchanging comments with nations on bilateral or regional multi-lateral occasions, and gaining support from the majority of people and groups.
Taiwan is ready!
Taiwan’s entry into the CPTPP will definitely add value to this pact and its members. By jointly moulding the trade principles for the forthcoming generation, Taiwan will demonstrate its vast potential and bring tremendous business opportunities for the member nations and the world.
I look forward to seeing Taiwan become a CPTPP member and realising a win-win outcome of free trades and investment.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.