Daily Management Review

Taiwan Aims To Become Asian Financial Hub, To Liberalize It Economy Further


Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday that the country aims to become an Asian financial and asset management hub and would thus be opening up its economy more and offer more financial products.
This move was made by the island state at a time when there is huge political turmoil in Hong Kong, also known as the Asian financial hub, with the imposition of the controversial national security law of mainland China. 
According to analysts, this move by Taiwan which already has a very open and liberalized but export dependent economy, is also attempting to reduce its dependence on neighbor China for trade as Beijing is its largest trading partner but also a political rival. China claims Taiwan to be part of its territory.  
With the recent turmoil in Hong Kong, particularly since the imposition of the national security law, has raised questions about the how long can the island city be able to hold on to its tag of bring the financial capital of Asia.
While it is unlikely that Taiwan immediately displace Hong Kong to become the financial capital of Asia, the Taiwanese government hopes that it’s these efforts will help it to grab the opportunity created by the turmoil in Hong Kong to attract professionals and capital from the island city of Hong Kong.
Tsai made no direct mention of Hong Kong in the plans while speaking at the Third Wednesday Club, a business group made up of 78 of Taiwan’s most important companies including Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer.
But there was growing interest about Taiwan among foreign companies, she noted.
“More and more internationally renowned companies, and even more international-level capital, talent and technology, are bullish about Taiwan, are coming to Taiwan and increasing their investment in Taiwan,” she said.
“The government will continue to adopt even more open measures, open up diverse financial products, expand the scope of our wealth management business, and let Taiwan become an Asian corporate financing centre and high-level asset management centre.”
She did not provide any further details.
While reiterating her desire to help Taiwan join the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, Tsai also said that the focus of the government would be to strike more bilateral trade deals including one with the United States that has been long in eth waiting.
Since many countries are weary of entering into bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan over concern of retaliation from China, the second largest economy of the world, Taiwan has been able to strike just a few international trade deals.
Taiwan is however an existing member of the World Trade Organization and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc and the country would step up efforts to deepen its participation in both, Tsai said.