Taiwan – Plans To Establish Free Economic Zones To Accelerate Trade Liberalization.
14 June, 2012
Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific - Taiwan – International Trade
On May 20, 2012, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou asserted in the inauguration speech for his second term that the government would accelerate trade liberalization by eliminating trade and investment barriers and by establishing free economic zones (FEZs). According to Taiwanese officials, these FEZs will be set up
based on the existing five free trade zones (FTZ) (The five free trade zones are Keelung Port FTZ, Taipei Port FTZ, Su-ao Port FTZ, Taichung Port FTZ, and Kaohsiung Port FTZ). For example, Kaohsiung Port, one of the FEZs and Taiwan's biggest international harbor, will grant a number of duty exemptions and reductions, streamline customs clearance procedures for the import of production means and raw materials, and allow processing and reexport of imported products. President Ma also disclosed that the government plans to invest an additional NTD 200 billion (to the already allocated NTD 370 billion) to support the establishment of the Kaohsiung FEZ through a number of projects, such as enlarging Kaohsiung’s Software Zone and promoting the development of a medical equipment industrial cluster.
During his inauguration speech, President Ma also stressed the importance of developing bilateral and multilateral trade relationships. He called for accelerating follow-up talks under the existing cross-straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and expediting negotiations on economic cooperation agreements and investment agreements with receptive trading partners, such as Singapore, Japan and New Zealand. Taiwan has taken a number of steps in recent years to develop these bilateral trade relationships, including holding negotiations for the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP) in May 2011; signing an investment agreement with Japan in September 2011; and launching a feasibility study on an economic cooperation agreement (ECA) with New Zealand in October 2011.
Taiwan’s Council for Economic Planning and Development is expected to finalize the FEZ plans in the coming months
For further information, please contact:
Samuel Scoles, White & Case
Tong Yu, White & Case
Christopher Corr, White & Case
Patrick Ma, White & Case