Bloomberg News

Taiwan-China Economic Pact Has Little Impact, CEO Survey Shows

December 28, 2011

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- A landmark trade and economic deal between Taiwan and China has had no impact on business, according to a survey of chief executive officers and managers.

About 34.9 percent of Taiwanese business executives surveyed by Taipei-based Commonwealth Magazine said the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, signed in June last year, won’t benefit their companies. Of the 349 respondents, 45.5 percent said while the pact has had no impact so far, it may help in the future, the survey showed.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, who seeks to keep his Kuomintang party in office when he faces voters next month, has staked his re-election on closer ties with China and the economic agreement that his administration engineered last year. Opposition candidate Tsai Ing-wen has said the closer relations with Taiwan’s largest trading partner and military rival threatens its own sovereignty and makes its economy a hostage to China.

The survey of business executives was conducted between Nov. 28 and Dec. 15 and included questions on the economy, competitiveness and investment plans, Commonwealth said in a statement today.

Weaker demand in Europe and the U.S. will be the largest external challenge next year, according to 83.9 percent of respondents, while rising raw material prices and a fluctuating exchange rate were also cited.

More than 48 percent of the executives surveyed said they plan to increase their Taiwan workforce next year, and 55.9 percent expect to raise wages. About 41.9 percent of respondents may boost investment in China, while 10.8 percent plan to expand in Vietnam. About 47.7 percent aren’t planning any increases in investments, according to the survey.

--Editors: Shamim Adam, Janet Ong

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at tculpan1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net


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