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Taiwan's late COVID outbreak at odds with global economy resurgence

Jun 23, 2021 | By EDN

The Appacus Foundation Chairman Chen Chun warned possible challenges for Taiwan's economic trade future, citing how global economies' bounceback after the pandemic would serve as a stark contrast with Taiwan's internal struggle with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Chen used the U.K.'s Brexit as an example; contrary to most analysts' grim perspectives regarding the British government's untimely exit from the European Union, coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, they signed its first FTA with Australia on June 15 since Brexit.

In an article published recently called "Something to Celebrate," the Economist analyzed the recovery of the British economy, the increase in employment, and the minimum wage that surpassed 55% of the average (median) wage (otherwise known as the Kaitz index).

Earlier, a Japanese spokesperson announced at the CPTPP ministerial meeting on June 2 that the U.K. had applied to join the CPTPP in February this year, and the countries agreed to start negotiations immediately, which is expected to be completed in a year.

With examples like the U.K. and the global economy bouncing back from the pandemic recession, Chen implored the Taiwanese government to keep pace with the evolving economic playing field.

He said that the British pound occupies 8.09% of the SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights) portfolio. Yet, the U.K. is still working hard on regional economic integration, specifically with the geographically incompatible Trans-Pacific. Chen said with the U.K.'s example, Taiwan must be equally be determined to join the CPTPP.

The pandemic has accelerated businesses' urgency to reflect on globalization, regional integration, and even supply chain. At present, the world still values ​​Taiwan's position in the global value chain. However, Chen warned that if Taiwan continues to remain sidelined and without significant economic integration, factors like tariffs, intellectual property rights, and trade barriers, especially the weakening of the ITA (Information Technology Agreement), will stunt Taiwan's foreign trade capabilities. In a worst-case scenario, global businesses might skip or remove Taiwan from their supply chains completely.


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