At the Cabinet's weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Su Tseng-chang said Taiwan officially submitted an application Wednesday afternoon to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This not only represents an important process for Taiwan's external trade but also marks a major step forward in Taiwan's ambitions for participating in regional economic integration since joining the World Trade Organization.
Time and again President Tsai Ing-wen has underscored the importance of Taiwan's accession to the CPTPP, the premier continued. Government agencies have for many years been preparing for this bid, engaging in consultations and discussions with member countries through informal channels, and revising and amending regulations, systems and operating methods.
The CPTPP is currently the most important regional economic integration agreement in the Asia-Pacific, and perhaps the world, Premier Su said. Its member economies are major trade partners to Taiwan and account for over 24 percent of Taiwan's total international trade. If Taiwan is to grow its economy and continue to expand its exports, it will be imperative to integrate with regional economies, bilaterally as well as multilaterally, Premier Su said.
Taiwan is an advanced economy that plays an irreplaceable role in the global high-tech industrial supply chain. It also has a highly transparent market economy, and has the ability and the willingness to respect the global marketplace's high standards.
The government today takes this first step in initiating entry into CPTPP knowing that much work lies ahead, said Premier Su. Such work includes efforts in the legal and institutional spheres. Taiwan must also take the initiative to seek support from member economies, and work quickly to conduct post-application negotiations.
The people and related citizens' groups must also be educated on the numerous new high-standard trade rules involved. For sensitive industries that may affect local businesses, complementary measures may be necessary for Taiwan to be fully prepared for entry.