The protests have valid truth that the Ma Administration would have to explain…. is it really worth the 0.4% points of growth? Is the 0.4% worth giving up so much to China and to see a country gradually lose its competitive edge?
So, you live in a proud, thriving and affluent democracy of 23 million people that many less developed places view as a role model. How much of your hard-won autonomy would you be willing to give up for 0.4 percentage points of growth?
That’s the question Taiwan now faces, after protests stalled a trade agreement to open up the island’s economy to competition in services from mainland China. Taipei’s “Occupy Parliament” movement forced the government of President Ma Ying-jeou, which had tried to ram through the bill without public scrutiny, to pause for nine months. Now, editorialists and other supporters of the bill have begun howling about the economic fallout. Ma claims that Taiwan will lose global credibility if it reneges on the pact. Bank of America predicts Taiwan’s economy will grow 2.5 percent without the pact, compared to 2.9 percent if it’s approved.
Maybe the Ma Administration would think twice about this? Probably not… as stubborn as they are, they will probably somehow spin the 0.4% is still better than the 2.5% growth expected without the service pact. The question isn’t the 2.9% points of growth expected with the service pact but rather… why a country that has a vibrant economy only growing around the 2.5%? That should be the question many should ask, even with the service pact, 2.9% is still very very low for a country that have seen much better days even during economic downturn.
Let us know what you think about this 0.4% growth difference… in the comments below.