Why closer ties between Taiwan and Ontario is a win-win strategy

The recent announcement by Taiwan and Canada to begin talks on Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) welcomes the news. It is also high time that the Canadian provinces, and Ontario in particular, follow the example of the federal government in recognizing the importance of Taiwan and further developing their relations with this economic powerhouse in Asia.

Slightly larger than Vancouver Island, Taiwan is nevertheless Canada’s sixth largest trading partner in Asia and Ontario’s fifth largest trading partner in the same region. Like Canada, Taiwan adheres to the values ​​of democracy, freedom and human rights.

While most of the world’s economies are shrinking significantly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan is doing more than well – it’s thriving. Taiwan’s GDP increased by 3.11% in 2020, exceeding most countries. In 2021, the growth rate was 6.1%, the fastest pace in a decade. The country’s strong performance can be attributed to global demand for its tech products.

As the hub of the global technology supply chain, Taiwanese industry plays a pivotal role in the international market. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) holds more than 50% market share in the semiconductor foundry industry, while Foxconn is the long-term champion of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the industry. consumer electronics. MediaTek ranks fourth among the top 10 integrated circuit (IC) design companies, while ASUS and Acer together account for 14% of the global personal computer market. All of Taiwan’s high-tech enterprises demonstrate the importance of Taiwan.

Since the launch and implementation of the New Southbound Policy At the end of 2016, Taiwan established strong trade and investment ties with Southeast Asian countries, as well as India. As Asia increasingly becomes an engine of global economic growth, Taiwan is an important trading partner that can enhance Canada’s commercial and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region. This explains why many multinationals, such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook) and Qualcomm, have chosen to establish their Asian offices or branches in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s economic structure is complementary to that of Canada in general and that of Ontario in particular. For example, Ontario’s top exports to Taiwan are automobiles, metals and soybeans. Taiwan’s biggest exports to Ontario are computers, telecommunications equipment and microchips. However, total two-way trade between Taiwan and Ontario was only $3.4 billion in 2020 and $2.7 billion from January to August 2021. Both regions need to work harder to increase this figure. . We also look forward to more investment from each other, although investment from Taiwanese companies such as TSMC, Delta International, Bora Pharmaceuticals and LCY Biotech has increased in recent years.

To build a stronger partnership, Ontario and Taiwan can work together on many things, such as supporting Taiwan’s membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and working towards signing a FIPA between the Canada and Taiwan. Multilateral and bilateral agreements fall under the jurisdiction of the Canadian federal government. However, reaching these agreements with Taiwan will benefit Ontario’s international trade and investment.

One measure that Ontario could certainly consider to strengthen its ties with Taiwan would be to establish an international trade and investment office in Taipei. This would help Ontario raise its business profile in Taiwan and promote its products there, and attract clean, high-tech investment from Taiwan to Ontario. This aligns with Ontario’s sector focus on artificial intelligence, 5G, fintech, digital media, cybersecurity and diversified export markets.

Given the shared values ​​of democracy and freedom and the complementary economic structure of both sides, Taiwan and Canada can work together to help each other fully integrate and engage with the rest of the Indo- peaceful.

With sustained economic growth and abiding by the order of the rules, Taiwan and Canada will continue to pursue a win-win strategy. Ontario, as Canada’s largest economy, can play an important role in this joint effort.

Jin Ling Chen is Managing Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Toronto.

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