December 18, 2018
Taiwan must be set to weather the effects of the US-China trade war says its Finance Minister.
Finance Minister Su Jain-rong has said the ongoing trade war between the United States and China will definitely hit Taiwan and that there is no wonder drug for the country that will be able to ease the pain of the impact.
More than 40 percent of Taiwan’s exports last year were shipped to China (including Hong Kong), most of which were intermediate goods, Su said in a recent interview with CNA. The situation means that those products would eventually be sold to the United States and other markets, he added.
“If the U.S.-China trade war curtails the products that Taiwanese businesses manufacture in China from being sold to the U.S., it is certain to affect Taiwan’s economy,” Su said.
An economist who took the post as finance minister July 16 this year, Su said that although the trade war could lead to a transfer of orders from China to Taiwan, some Taiwanese businesses will face huge changes, no matter whether they have to expand their production capacity in China or set up production lines in Taiwan.
Matters related to investment expansion need careful evaluation and assessment before any decisions are made and actions taken to make them happen, Su said. Therefore, he went on, no matter whether such actions are an increase of output or new factory openings, they will not become reality immediately.
In other words, “it is certain that Taiwan’s economy will experience a period of strife” caused by the trade war between the world’s two biggest economic powers, Su said. There is no wonder drug because Taiwan’s industries simply cannot adjust their structures fast enough to meet the market changes, according to Su.
He suggested that the country should develop new industries that can help Taiwan’s next-generation industries to grow.
By Pan Tzu-yu and Elizabeth Hsu