Economic Integration Across the Taiwan Strait
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Economic Integration Across the Taiwan Strait

Global Perspectives

Edited by Peter C.Y. Chow

Despite their controversial political relationship, Taiwan and China remain very much entwined economically. This timely volume explores the complicated state of economic and trade relations between the two countries, meticulously unraveling the issue’s various threads and presenting an authoritative breakdown of a complex and fascinating economic linkage.
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Chapter 4: Trends for future integration of commercial banking between Taiwan and China after the ECFA

Hong- Jen Abraham Lin


China is the one of the fastest- growing economies worldwide and is the first choice for Taiwanese foreign direct investments. By the end of 2010, Taiwan invested US $159.84 billion in China. Major industries between Taiwan and China have integrated or become horizontally and vertically connected. Nevertheless, no such integration exists in the banking industry, owing to regulatory and political issues. Since Taiwan and China joined the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2002 and 2001 respectively, and China promised open banking and insurance markets in 2006, major Western banks have invested shares in major Chinese state- owned banks (see details in Hong and Zheng, 2009; Kuan et al., 2009). Taiwan’s banks may also grasp this opportunity to expand their business in China, whereas China can demonstrate its economic power in Taiwan by establishing its banking branches. The promise of opening financial markets was fulfilled in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China. The MOU was signed on November 16, 2009, and became valid on January 16, 2010. The MOU and the ECFA further integrate financial markets between Taiwan and China. Within 3 to 5 years after the ECFA, Taiwan and China will open their banking and insurance markets to each other to establish cross- border branches.

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