Monthly Archives: January 2010
1. Cover story
China-ASEAN free trade area starts operation
2. Economy outlook
Hong Kong can play role in promoting RMB internationalization
3. Financial strategy
From semiconductor to solar panel
4. Legal spotlight
Well-known Trademark in Taiwan
5. Point of interest
Dancing petals in Taipei
President and General Secretary for the first and second decades
7. Remark from editor
The advent of Chinese and Globish
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) kicked off their free trade area (FTA) on Friday.
The world’s largest FTA embracing developing countries covers a population of 1.9 billion and involves about 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars of trade volume.
The average tariff on goods from ASEAN countries to China is cut down to 0.1 percent from 9.8 percent.
The six original ASEAN members, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, will slash the average tariff on Chinese goods from 12.8 percent to 0.6 percent. By 2015,the policy of zero-tariff rate for 90 percent of Chinese goods is expected to extend to the four new ASEAN members, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Dozens of trucks, mostly carrying dragon fruit from Vietnam, thronged border markets Friday morning, waiting to be unloaded at the Tianyuan Fruit Trade Market, one of China’s largest market for fruit import, at the Pingxiang Port in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
“The establishment of the free trade area is really good news for me,” said Liu Yuzhen at the Tianyuan market, who has been trading fruits for 16 years.
She now sells more than 10 tons of apples, pears, oranges and other fruits to southeast Asia every day, and hopes her business will expand as the FTA will facilitate the customs clearance and reduce the logistics cost.
Gu Xiaosong, vice president of the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, said both ASEAN members and southern China provinces abound with tropical primary products like rubber and tropical fruits, and thus competition in the earlier stage of the FTA will be unavoidable.
“But such competition will eventually lead to optimization of the agricultural and industrial structures in the region, which will help form a more competitive entity in the global market,” he said.
There is a provision in the FTA for a temporary delay in tariff reduction by reclassifying goods as “sensitive” and “highly sensitive” products.
High-tariff items that include automobiles, rice and some petrochemical products are listed as “highly sensitive,” thereby allowing both sides to reduce their tariffs below 50 percent by 2015 for original ASEAN members and 2018 for new members.
“China’s efforts to establish the FTA aim not only at expanding overseas markets, but also promoting trade and investment liberalization, especially amid the global trade protectionism,” said Zhang Monan, an economist with the State Information Center.
China and ASEAN members could cooperate in wider fields, from natural resources to high technologies, she said. “The further economic integration between the two sides could be very competitive in the global economy.”
Her comments were echoed by Yang Tianpei, chairman of Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce.
“China wants raw materials while Malaysia needs daily use articles and electric and mechanical products,” he said. “The FTA will facilitate trade and reduce the prices.”
“The Chinese enterprises can build factories in Malaysia to further reduce costs as well as increase jobs and revenues in Malaysia,” he said.
Zhang said the FTA would also facilitate more cross-border yuan trade settlements and currency swap agreements between China and ASEAN members.
The cooperation will help ASEAN members become less dependent on the U.S. dollar, which has become highly volatile as a result of the global financial crisis, she said.
China’s Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said earlier the establishment of the FTA will promote the regional economic integration, benefiting companies and consumers.
China and the ASEAN launched their cooperation dialogue in 1991 and signed the China-ASEAN Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Cooperation in 2002.
Hong Kong could exert its advantages as an international financial center to promote the RMB into becoming a regional or even international currency, said Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen, chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Tuesday. Hong Kong has been playing the role as a “testing field” in the RMB’s internationalization, Tsang said when he delivered a speech at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Governance. The city has involved in the establishment of the system QFII and QDII, the circulation of the RMB overseas and the currency’s function expansion, the implementation of currency swap agreements, as well as the RMB cross-border settlement, according to Tsang.
On Sept. 28, 2009, China floated 6 billion yuan (about 878.5 million U.S. dollars) in T-bonds in Hong Kong, marking the first RMB-denominated T-bond issue outside the Chinese mainland. In April China’s State Council announced a pilot program allowing exporters and importers in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Dongguan, to settle cross-border trade deals using RMB with Hong Kong, Macao, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “The move not only made the RMB more attractive as a reserve currency, but also strengthened Hong Kong’s position as an international financial center,” Tsang said. “More importantly, Hong Kong could help the country to stave financial risk during the process,” he said.
|What are T-bonds?
T-bonds stand for treasury bonds, which literally mean bonds issued by the treasury of certain country. Generally speaking, they are marketable debt financing instrument of the government and tend to have long maturity.
In the December 9 of 2009, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) (“TSMC”) and Motech Industries Inc. (TWO: 6244) (“Motech”) jointly announced the signing of a share subscription agreement, under which TSMC will subscribe through a private placement for 75.32 million new Motech shares. The total consideration is approximately NT$6.2 billion (US$193 million), or NT$82.7 per share, representing a 16.9% discount to Motech’s 3-month average closing price. TSMC will become the largest shareholder of Motech with 20% shareholding through this investment. The transaction is subject to Motech’s shareholders’ approval and regulatory approval.
Motech is a leading solar cell manufacturer worldwide and the largest in Taiwan. With manufacturing facilities in Taiwan and China, Motech pursues a vertical integration strategy and has in-house ingot and wafer capabilities and a majority investment in polysilicon production via advanced fluidized bed reactor technology. In addition, Motech is also Taiwan’s leading provider of photovoltaic systems and photovoltaic inverters.
Dr. Rick Tsai, President of TSMC New Businesses, said, “We are delighted to partner with Motech in our pursuit of new opportunities in the high-growth solar sector. With the investment, TSMC intends to leverage Motech’s established platform to accelerate our time to market, better evaluate opportunities along the solar value chain, and further formulate our overall solar strategy.”
“TSMC’s investment affirms Motech’s competitive position in the solar industry,” said Dr. Simon Tsuo, Chairman and CEO of Motech. “TSMC’s technology leadership and global management expertise would add significant value to Motech, as we strengthen supply chain integration and improve our operational efficiency. We plan to work closely with TSMC to address new business opportunities. We believe this partnership would further enhance Motech’s leadership position in the solar industry.”
TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and the foundry’s largest portfolio of process-proven libraries, IP, design tools and reference flows. The Company’s total managed capacity in 2008 exceeded 9 million 8-inch equivalent wafers, including capacity from two advanced 12-inch GigaFabs™, four eight-inch fabs, one six-inch fab, as well as TSMC’s wholly owned subsidiaries, WaferTech and TSMC (China), and its joint venture fab, SSMC. TSMC is the first foundry to provide 40nm production capabilities. Its corporate headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan. For more information about TSMC please visit http://www.tsmc.com.
Motech Industries Inc. (formerly Meter International Corporation before 1998) was founded in 1981 as a designer and manufacturer of test and measurement instruments. The company entered into solar cell production in 1999, and is a pioneer in the manufacturing and marketing of high-quality single and multi-crystalline silicon solar cells in Taiwan. Today, the company is the largest solar cell manufacturer in Taiwan and one of the top ten manufacturers worldwide in terms of production capacity and output in 2008. “Modern Technology for a Sustainable World” is the company’s motto to emphasize its strong dedication to developing a sustainable world and to encouraging the use of renewable sources of energy so that we, as citizens of the world, can breathe easier in the years to come. Motech is a publicly traded company on Taiwan’s Over-the-Counter (OTC) market with the trading code of 6244. For more information about Motech please visit http://www.motech.com.tw.
There are multiple channels in Taiwan to recognize and protect well-known trademarks. An abundant supply of well-known trademark cases has accumulated over the years, but such information has not been compiled for reference for all interested sectors. To fill this void, Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) commissioned outside sources in 2008 to collect all cases within the last five years, from 2003 to mid. 2008, which include well-known trademarks recognized by the courts, Fair Trade Commission, Taiwan Network Information Center and TIPO. These cases were compiled into a central directory for use by enforcement agencies, industries, scholastic institutions, and other interested sectors conveniently.
This project, entitled “Well-Known Trademark Case Directory and Studies”, also lists common guidelines and criteria for recognizing well-known trademarks and facts and evidence, as well as suggestions for future amendments to the currently existing well-known trademark protection mechanism. TIPO has already updated the Case Directory in 2009. The cases in the latest version of the Directory are recognized in the period of five year from July 1 2004 to June 30 2009. Related Links: http://www.tipo.gov.tw/ch/Download_DownloadPage.aspx?path=3526&Language=1&UID=8&ClsID=31&ClsTwoID=208&ClsThreeID=0
The 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition will be held from November 6th, 2010 to April 25th, 2011. This is the first time the event will be held in Taiwan. Taipei is the seventh city in Asia to host such a gardening expo, and this is a chance for Taiwan to show the world its commitment to outstanding gardening and the achievements it has made in the biotechnology sector.
Unlike suburban expositions held in Kunming, Hamanako, Chiang Mai and other cities, the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition will take place in the city center as a response to people’s desire for more urban green spaces. The site plans and designs of this year’s show incorporate urban renewal concepts.
It is estimated that as many as six million tourists will visit Taipei City for the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition. The Expo will help Taiwan share with the world its achievements in the areas of tourism, catering, gardening and biotechnology.
AIPH, Association Internationale des Producteurs de l’ Horticulture in French, Internationaler Verband des Erwerbsgartenbaues in German or International Association of Horticultural Producers in English, is an internationally recognized organization, and its purpose is to coordinate flowers horticulture market in trading, showcase and producing. It currently has members across 25 countries and 33 memberships. The association held the annual meeting in every spring and autumn in order to discuss and promote the international horticulture industry and their development. Taiwan Floriculture Development Association successfully became a member by 2004, since then, it work hard to apply the right of hosting international flower expo in order to expand global trading and enhance status.
Taiwan is the fourth country in Asia, and Taipei the seventh city, to host this event. Taipei’s people have amazing exhibition and landscape planning skills and the city boasts superb, modern public facilities. Taipei City government, in partnership with the Taiwan Floriculture Development Association (TFDA), gained the recognition of the international community in April 2006 by being selected to host the 2010 exposition. Taipei City, its government and its people, have worked hard to ensure that the exposition is a stunning success.
The exposition’s logo, dancing petals, represents human celebrations and shared values. After a competition that lasted two months, the organizing committee finally decided on a mascot and logo. Designers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Europe, Japan and the U.S. all participated in this competition. There were 1669 entries in total, and the winning entry became the unique symbol of the Exposition. The Expo’s logo is based on five simply designed petals, and each petal, flowing with a pattern of moving lines, represents human activities. Each of the five colors—blue, green, red, orange and purple—represents a continent. The five petals combine in abstract images of dancing people. These bright colors also hint at the cheerful atmosphere that will characterize the Expo.
The Expo’s mascots, flower fairies, play a moving melody about spring, summer, fall and winter. The Expo mascots are inspired by the fairies of the seasons. The band linking them symbolizes the harmony of the four seasons as well as the rhythm of nature. The mascots stand for the four seasons, because in Taiwan, each season brings the blooming of different flowers. The flower fairies form a “flower band.” Together, they serenade us with the melodies of the seasons, and their colorful outfits and friendly smiles express their happiness and passion for the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition. With the approach of the Expo, the mascot band will bring a cheerful message to every single corner of the world.