Taiwan is well-positioned to expand its maritime and logistics industries to work with its international trade partners as it seeks to become a shipping hub in East Asia, Vice President Wu Den-yih said.
Such development is crucial amid stronger economic ties between Taiwan and its major trade partners like China and the United States, Wu said.
Wu highlighted the work being done to improve Taiwan's investment environment, citing as examples the recent signing of an investment protection pact and a customs cooperation agreement with China and efforts to seal a free trade agreement with the U.S. as early as possible.
"Such actions will help Taiwan to achieve and maintain a better competitive position in East Asia and will benefit Taiwanese companies," he said.
International collaboration is essential in order to upgrade Taiwan's shipping industry, Wu said at a conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists.
Tom Leander, editor-in-chief of Lloyd's List Asia, a maritime daily newspaper, supported Wu's views.
Leander said Taiwan should definitely capitalize on its close trade ties with China to expand port coordination and further integrate resources.
The timing is also good because discussions about deregulation in China's shipping industry have emerged as the country is undergoing a leadership transition, he said.
China could turn the once fully protected industry into one that is subject to market forces, which means Taiwan could take advantage of this trend to solicit investment, Leander said.
More than 100 experts from 30 countries are attending the annual conference that is being held Sept. 5-8 in Taipei.