Taiwan, Korean firms can collaborate, says Economics Ministry
Since Taiwan and South Korea frequently trade with each other within the same industry, there are opportunities for cross-country collaboration in the global supply chain, Deputy Economics Minister Cho Shih-chao ( ) said on Friday.
Cho made the comment at a conference on world economic trends and industrial cooperation between Taiwan and South Korea.
The two countries’ close trade ties can be shown through a few high-profile mergers and acquisitions carried out in recent years. Among them is Yuanta Securities’ ( ) US$250 million bid to acquire a 50.3-percent stake in TongYang Securities, the sixth largest securities firm in the South Korean market.
Another is Hon Hai Precision Industry’s ( ) US$360 million bid to acquire a 5-percent stake in C&C, a subsidiary of SK Group, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea.
And there is machine tool manufacturer Fair Friend Group’s ( ) US$20 million purchase of DMC’s 80-percent stake.
There are also Korean
firms continually making investment in Taiwan, the deputy economics minister said, adding that he looks forward to new business opportunities brought about by the bilateral investment.
Given the high level of “trade activities within the same industry” and the global supply chain’s cooperative nature, Chao believes there are opportunities for companies of the two countries to work together.
Chao referred to the credit card industry, where Visa and MasterCard were cooperating instead of competing with each other in the early stage to expand in market size.
Taiwan and South Korean players in the information and communication technology industry may likewise team up for mutual benefits, Chao said.
Taiwan and South Korea’s
Both Taiwan and South Korea are export-oriented economies. With many overlapping industries, the two countries are competing head-to-head in the global trade war.
Still, trade volumes between the two countries totaled US$27.47 billion in 2014, and South Korea is now Taiwan’s sixth largest trade partner, according to customs data.
Taiwan’s exports to South Korea totaled US$12.69 billion in 2014, while imports from South Korea totaled US$14.79 billion. South Korea is Taiwan’s sixth largest export market, and fourth largest import trade partner.
The statistics data indicates industries in the two countries are in fact complimentary to each other.
to Taiwan Agrees
Cho’s remarks echoed Korean top envoy to Taiwan Cho Baeksang’s statement made one day earlier at a Korean national holiday banquet.
Although the two countries share similar industries and are therefore considered trade competitors, complimentary business partnership is also present given the two countries’ same focus on semiconductor and chemical product transactions and investment, the Korean representative said.
In the future, the two countries must view each other not only as competitors, but also partners in economic collaboration and cultural exchange, he said.