The weakening of global market demand has affected trade between Taiwan and mainland China. Trade across the Taiwan Strait declined 5.2 percent year-on-year (YoY) in the first half of this year, reported China Customs Spokesman Y.S. Cheng, adding that cross-strait trade is facing tough times.
The value of cross-strait trade totalled $75.02 billion (NT$2.2 trillion) in the six-month period, accounting for 4.1 percent of China’s total foreign trade. Shipments from China to Taiwan dropped by 5.8 percent to $16.5 billion (NT$492.9 billion), while China’s imports from Taiwan declined 5 percent to $58.52 billion (NT$1.7 trillion).
Cheng noted that cross-strait trade is concentrated on raw materials and semi-finished products, and that the largest part of it consists of goods exported from Taiwan to China. After the materials and semi-finished products from Taiwan are processed in China, they are exported directly to the European, American, and Japanese markets. Falling demand in those markets has caused Taiwan’s exports to China to decline.
Despite the overall decline in cross-strait trade, Cheng said, trade in goods that come under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) shot up 104 percent in the first half, and the resulting tariff savings expanded 3.34 times to $240 million (NT$7.2 billion).
Cheng expressed confidence that cross-strait trade would soon resume growth, since 94.5 percent of all the commodities on ECFA’s “early harvest” list enjoy a tariff rate of zero starting on January 1 this year.