Be open to trade pacts: AmCham

By Linger Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan should join bilateral and regional trade agreements to ensure its global competitiveness, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official said recently.

Tami Overby, vice president of the Asia Department in the International Division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the U.S. is interested in including Taiwan as a partner in U.S. trade agreements, citing the possibility for more business opportunities.

Overby said the U.S. has been interested in making trade agreements with Japan, noting that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) with Japan will require the Japanese government to resolve political difficulties.

Overby said to join the free trade agreement, the government must declare their interests and be prepared to deal with hard political issues as well as to face business challenges. Free trade agreements

In discussing free trade agreements, Overby suggested the government make the economy more competitive so as to generate more foreign investment.

The Doha Development Agenda and the World Trade Organization have pioneered the continuous growth of free trade and regional agreements. She said South Korea has been active in negotiating a golden standard on the agreement. Overby said any parties interested in joining trade pacts should have the clear ambition of staying economically competitive. Economic Integration

She said the government should be able to present real courage and vision in foreseeing the integrated world economy, one which, she said, can generate more business profit.

South Korea is confident in handling competition with the U.S., a country that it has a strong market share in as well, she said. These strong ties between the two demonstrates the South Korean government’s ambition to join trade agreements.

The vice president said Taiwan does not fit the South Korean model. She said the Taiwanese government should have strong political will and leadership, and prepare for the political challenge of pushing through free trade measures. This requires getting local business to be supportive and understanding.