Taiwan, the Indispensable Strength to CPTPP’s Future Success

Taipei, Taiwan.

Taiwan has become the most popular destination for learning Chinese. (Image: via Thai Cheng)

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, is vital for Taiwan’s future.

More than two decades ago, I ran an import business of home appliances in Taiwan. It was in the Taiwan Economic Miracle Era when Taiwan was named one of Four Asian Tiger nations. I came to Australia with my family and continued managing my import business. From my experiences in Australia, I learned the importance of free trade tariffs and business investment and I am amazed by the great living environment here.  

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Melody Chen, Commissioner of Taiwan’s Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC). (Image: via Melody Chen)

Now, the time has changed and new challenges ensue. The U.S. and China encounter frictions in trade and Australia and China’s trade relationship is under adjustment. Needless to say, the COVID-19 global pandemic spread around the world quickly and unexpectedly. All these factors have led to the restructuring of the global supply chain and profound changes in the world trade arena.

Taiwan ranked sixth in the world in the Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of Economic Freedom. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

Taiwan’s joining the CPTPP

Taiwan has been dependent on the single market for a long time. Now it has to ensure free trade relationships with other markets to maintain its global competitiveness. That is why it is of huge significance for Taiwan to be part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, a free trade agreement that Taiwan already submitted an application to join on Sep. 22, 2021.

CPTPP was established on Mar. 8, 2018, in Santiago, Chile, and its current members include Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Chile.

This agreement covers a population of 500 million people from 11 countries, accounting for 13 percent of the global GDP. Many of the member countries are Taiwan’s close and important trade partners, accounting for over 24 percent of Taiwan’s international trade volumes.

CPTPP could act as an important international vehicle for Taiwan to engage in a balanced and distributed international economic relationship. It plays a crucial role in diversified fields of trade agreements, service, intellectual property, environment-related industries, etc.

Taiwan needs to be allowed to join the CPTPP in order to maintain its global competitiveness.
Taiwan is a highly developed free-market economy, which is the 8th largest in Asia and 18th-largest in the world by purchasing power parity. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

Australia is one of the CPTPP nations. Our Taiwanese communities have visited members of the Federal Parliament several times to seek their support of Taiwan’s membership in the Parliament. As of now, we have received nothing but friendly and positive responses.

As it has been acting throughout the COVID crisis, Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping. To prepare itself to join the CPTPP, Taiwan’s government has been working on required legislation, continuously exchanging comments with nations on bilateral or regional multilateral occasions, and gaining support from the majority of people and groups. Taiwan is ready!

Taiwan’s entry into the CPTPP will add value to this pact and its members. By jointly molding the trade principles for the forthcoming generation, Taiwan will demonstrate its huge potential and bring tremendous business opportunities for the member nations and the world.    

A container yard in Northern Taiwan’s Keelung harbor. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

I look forward to seeing Taiwan becoming a CPTPP member and a win-win outcome of free trade and investment being realized.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nspirement.

Written by Melody Chen, Commissioner of the Overseas Community Affairs Council, Taiwan, and Founding President World Arts & Multi-Culture Inc.

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