The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) issued its 2015 Taiwan White Paper on June 4, praising the NDC’s active promotion of deregulation and efforts to solve the problems that AmCham’s white papers have highlighted over a long period of time. The White Paper strongly supports Taiwan’s efforts to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). NDC Minister Duh Tyzz-Jiun said, receiving the White Paper on behalf of the government, that the White Paper put forward 103 main issues in 2013, and the number of issues was down to 82 in 2014 and fell further to 77 in 2015, the lowest over the last eight years, illustrating the government’s efforts with regards to solving these issues and the results. Mr Duh thanked AmCham for its affirmation of the ROC government and declared that the government will continue its moves in liberalization and internationalization, stepping up alignment with international norms to facilitate the involvement of the country in the second-stage expansion of the TPP.
According to AmCham’s 2015 White Paper, of 82 priority issues proposed in the 2014 White Paper, 22% were rated as “resolved” or “showing satisfactory progress,” the second highest satisfaction rate in the past five years. The White Paper also listed a number of improvements, including the adoption of a two-stage selective tendering process for turnkey public contracts, aligning reinsurance regulations with international norms, and improving the 4G environment; also commented on were the simplification of the onshore-fund registration process, relaxation of the rating requirements for distributing Offshore Structured Products, making the process of introducing foreign talent to Taiwan easier, the promotion of a drug-approval patent linkage system, and consultation with industry with respect to implementation of a new chemical substance registration system. In addition, AmCham hopes that the government will continue to work to prevent disparities between Taiwan’s regulations and international norms from affecting the business environment for the pharmaceutical, medical devices, cosmetics and food industries
The White Paper stated “the time is now” for Taiwan’s entry into TPP. AmCham exhorted Taiwan to be more proactive and make every effort to persuade initial members to include Taiwan in the second round of TPP negotiations, recognizing the commitment of Taiwan with respect to trade liberalization. In response, the NDC pointed out that Taiwan will continue pushing for structural reform, strengthening its international competitiveness, and building a sound legal environment for joining in regional economic integration, and urged AmCham to speak out in favor of Taiwan’s participation in the second round of TPP negotiations.
AmCham indicated that the core problem of Taiwan’s regulatory system is inadequate transparency, due to issues such as sometimes failing to communicate with stakeholders in writing when policies change or giving insufficient time for public comments. The NDC responded that, with respect to policy participation, it drafted the Implementation Directions Enhancing the Effectiveness of Government Administration last year, requiring diverse social participations channels to be provided by government agencies when policies or programs are being implemented to strengthen policy communication and coordination. The NDC has also established
Also, under Taiwan’s Administrative Procedure Act, an administrative authority shall, when formulating a regulation, publicly announce the full text or the essence of the draft in the Executive Yuan Gazette so that everyone has a chance to comment within the time set by the authority. Also, when a government agency formulates trade related laws or regulations, notification of the WTO and a minimum 60-day comment period are required across the board, meeting international standards. At the end of last year, the NDC requested that every agency should notify foreign chambers of commerce when bills or orders are previewed to promote the smooth operation of foreign businesses in Taiwan and transparency of bill preview by each agency.
The White Paper also reminded the government that if supply of water and electricity cannot be guaranteed Taiwan’s economy will stagnate, suggesting that further energy conservation measures be adopted and also that the life cycle of existing nuclear facilities be extended to avoid future blackouts. With respect to this, the NDC said that the government takes the energy issue very seriously and commits to only reduce reliance on nuclear power gradually with the precondition of secure and stable electricity supply, to avoid energy shortage affecting economic development as well as private investment.