Taiwan may trail S. Korea without AIIB entry
Taiwan may fall behind its arch rival South Korea in trade development if it fails to join multinational organizations such as the proposed China- led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a local economist said Wednesday.
Wu Chung-shu, president of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER,
), advised that Taiwan participate more actively in regional economic integration to expand its foreign trade opportunities.
Taiwan needs to become more open in its trade and economic development otherwise it may lag behind South Korea, Wu said, addressing public concerns over China’s influential role on Taiwan’s bid to join the AIIB.
South Korea has participated in many regional organizations and announced March 26 that it will seek to become a founding member of the China-led AIIB, despite Washington’s misgivings, which Wu said was a decision made in consideration of future global trade integration trends.
Liang Kuo-yuan, president of the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute ( ), said that Taiwan should cautiously evaluate the economic benefits of joining the AIIB, including operational transparency.
Taiwan needs a comprehensive assessment of the political and economic relationships among member countries before participating in any international organi- zation, and Taiwan can learn from the experience of Singapore about how to “survive in a tight corner,” Liang said.
Initiated by China, the AIIB is regarded by some as a potential rival to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, all of which are institutions dominated by developed countries such as the U.S.
The AIIB will aim to support infrastructure development projects in Asia and is expected to be set up by the end of this year.
The application window for founding membership expired at midnight Tuesday, and China’s official figures put the number of countries applying to join at 46 so far.