Japan firms seek partnerships with Taiwanese companies


TAIPEI — Japanese enterprises are hoping to form partnerships with Taiwanese companies to take advantage of the implementation of a major trade pact between Taiwan and China, according to an executive from Daiwa-Cathay Capital Markets.

Daniel Chang, vice chairman of the brokerage set up by Japan-based Daiwa Securities and Taiwan’s Cathay Financial Holdings, said Wednesday Japanese companies are planning to work with their Taiwanese counterparts to penetrate the China market as well as the Southeast Asian market.

The implementation of the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China in January allowed 539 Taiwanese products and services preferential tariff status and easier market access to the mainland.

Because of the trade pact, Taiwan is gaining the upper hand in forging business ties with China, which makes Taiwan businesses attractive candidates for alliances with the Japanese business sector, Chang said at a seminar held by the Third Wednesday Club, one of Taiwan’s major business associations.

According to Chang, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), a top government planner, is scheduled to hold conferences in Tokyo and Osaka in April to encourage Japanese firms to invest in Taiwan.

The conferences are expected to attract many Japanese business representatives who are interested in working with Taiwan companies to expand in China.

Taiwan and Japan can cooperate in areas such as biotech and international medical services, culture and creative business, digital content and the electric car industry, as they plan their China investments, Chang suggested.

However, Liu Zhentao, head of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, cautioned Taiwan investors to survey the China market before finalizing any investment plans.

Potential investors should make contact with the central government authorities in Beijing to gain a better understanding of the China market, Liu said at the seminar.