Taiwan's economy remains export-oriented, and external trade plays an important role in Taiwan’s economic development. Hence, “linking up to the world and participating in global integrated activities” is the core of government’s external economic and trade policy.
In order to enhance Taiwan’s growth dynamics of external trade, the government actively promotes the signing of economic cooperation agreements with main trading partner countries. Among them, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECFA) entered on June 29, 2010 and put into effect on September 12, 2010 plays the key role in effectively opening the market in China and gaining the advantage of entering the Chinese market earlier than its competitors and attracting foreign investments in Taiwan. It will help Taiwan to serve as priority partners for foreign businesses when investing in China, to keep the foundations of the industrial supply chains in Taiwan and to increase the opportunities for Taiwanese businessmen to purchase from Taiwan and foster industrial competitiveness. With these benefits, Taiwan will be become the industrial and logistics center. In coordination with other economic cooperative agreements, Taiwan will be able to integrate with global economic and trade systems and internationalize its economic and trade investments.
At present, the government has promoted the signing of economic cooperation agreements, and it is time for Taiwan to be fully internationalized. By opening up or decreasing tariffs, the international market for Taiwan’s export trade will be expanded. Industries and laborers employed for domestic demands are more vulnerable to competition and are easily influenced by free trade. During the negotiations for economic cooperation agreements, the government should utilize strategies to gain an advantage and give proper counseling and support to assist them in transforming and upgrading for better industrial competition and job security in order to respond to the effects brought about by free trade.
In lieu of this, the provisions for industrial adjustment and supportive measures to respond to free trade, the Executive Yuan enacted “Industrial Adjustment and Support Initiatives to Respond to Free Trade” in compliance with Article 6 of the “Industrial Innovation Act”, “When industries are impacted by natural disasters, international economic and trade situations or other major environmental changes, the competent authority at the central government level should provide industrial adjustment and supportive measures to assist industries to restore competitiveness and to foster social security.” When the government promotes free trade, it also actively assists some industries to respond to impacts brought about by free trade.
Under this initiative, the Industrial Development Bureau in order to assist domestic traditional industries to improve product quality and build the “safe, healthy, and reliable” image for Taiwan-made products, since 2010, began to promote the MIT Smile Logo Accreditation System and assist to expand both the domestic and international market of MIT Smile products to use the pull force in the market to enhance industrial competitiveness.
At present, 17 categories of 22 industries are included in Type 1 Industries that need to be assisted with improved counseling including those in the manufacturing of garments, undergarments, sweaters, swimming suits, towels, bedding sheets, socks, shoes, bags and luggage, household appliances, stone materials, ceramics, wooden and bamboo goods, agricultural chemicals, environmental agents, animal pharmaceuticals, felt hats, scarves, felt gloves, umbrellas, felt protective devices and cloth curtains. Type 2 products have currently adopted the accreditation systems for Food GMP as well as Cosmetics GMP and CNS Mark. For general products under Type 3 including information products, toy, audio and video speakers, lighting devices, and sun glasses applications are now open for accreditation filed by the manufactures.