Less than a month ahead of Taiwan’s presidential election President Tsai Ing-wen has widened her lead over Mr Han Kuo-yu, a China-friendly Kuomintang candidate. It is believed that Tsai has been helped by the U.S.-China trade war, which has benefited Taiwan by luring investment to the island. In the first 10 months of 2019, Taiwan’s economy grew faster than Asian peers such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong in the third quarter and foreign investment has been a contributor to this growth, reaching nearly $10 billion. According to the Nikkei Asian Review better Taiwan trade conditions, stable consumption and higher investment from both domestic and foreign firms will support growth, but external risks remain on geopolitics as we approach Taiwan’s 2020 election.
Nevertheless, global trade tensions, weak momentum in the global economy and the devastating effect of drought and bushfires have forced the Morrison government to cut its employment forecasts and pressures for climate change reform. In the meantime the Opposition’ Dr Jim Chalmers is calling for a new strategy to drive growth and jobs in regional and suburban areas, working with big business to boost the economy.
DARWIN, BRISBANE, SYDNEY, MELBOURNE, TAIWAN AND GUANGZHOU
The 2nd Regional Australia-Asia Chambers Forum 2-3 May 2019 in Darwin
I attended this Forum on behalf of ATBC in Darwin, organised by the Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory (CCNT) amongst over 120 delegates from the region. Mr Samir Modi (Chair of Confederation of Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Picture on the left) and Mr Anura Clochette (Chair of the Asia Council on Tourism) were the main speakers at the Forum. The ATBC is grateful for the NT Chamber of Commerce’s kind gesture to present an acknowledgement award in memory of the late Ross Maddock OAM for his contribution and service to bring a strong Taiwan delegation to Darwin in 2015 at the 29th Joint Conference. I also participated in the panel discussion on China’s “One Bell One Road” policy vs the “New Southbound Policy” of Taiwan.