On December 4, MOTC's Maritime and Port Bureau held a seminar in its lecture hall on "The New Southbound Policy and International Maritime Transport: Opportunities and Challenges,” to which it invited representatives across different fields to act as moderators and speakers in seminars and comprehensive forums. The purpose of this seminar was to help domestic companies in maritime transport-related industries understand national investment and development in the policy, progress of the new southbound maritime transport policy, as well as to help these companies respond to challenges.
The Maritime and Port Bureau said that this seminar was different from past seminars in that it included a discussion on "Opportunities for maritime transport development in Southeast Asia from the perspective of dependency between Taiwan's maritime and port industry and southern countries,” which was moderated by Professor Yi-Chih Yang from National Kaohsiung Marine University. Also included this year was a discussion on "Possible impact from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on the maritime transport service industry," moderated by associate research fellow Xin-ci Jing from the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research. Through the brainstorming of association representatives, shipping liners, experts, scholars, and government departments, a platform for the sharing of opinions was provided, and policy advice was collected from the industries, officials, and academia in different fields.
Professor Yi-Chih Yang pointed out that the Maritime and Port Bureau will be a strong support for the maritime transport companies going forward; also, resource integration in the southbound development plan is very important, especially for the ASEAN countries in the New Southbound Policy. Wen-Bo Lin, the chairman of the National Association of Chinese Shipowners, also pointed out that about 15% of global container volume was from Southeast Asian countries, making it a very crucial market for Taiwan's shipping lines. Some seminar guests also mentioned that the distinctiveness of local culture and business operations should be explored deeply, and that understanding the local languages was especially important. It was also mentioned that shipping lines will rely on support from government departments to enhance their competitiveness. This support comes from actions such as the bilateral tax exemption agreement with countries in the New Southbound Policy.
Pin-Chuan Chen, the Maritime and Port Bureau deputy director-general, said that in cooperation with President Tsai's New Southbound Policy the Maritime and Port Bureau has been working on a "New Southbound Policy for maritime transport" for the past year. During that year, the Maritime and Port Bureau created a special area in its maritime and port development database for maritime transport in relation to the New Southbound Policy, providing convenient access to maritime transport information. The bureau also interfaced data from other units, such as the Executive Yuan's Office of Trade Negotiations and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, to double the value of data through integration! Chen also said that the bureau will assist companies in solving problems and reducing operating costs related to customs, port, and trade platforms. Since the government has limited resources, the southbound investment must also be done strategically so as to integrate the supply chain and develop characteristics of domestic industries. In addition, as each investment has its own risks, the Maritime and Port Bureau will continue disclosing related port and maritime transport information from countries in the New Southbound Policy, standing beside maritime transport companies, helping them smoothly expand their business in Southeast Asia, stressing a people-focused approach, and striving to support domestic maritime transport companies in securing a position in the New Southbound Policy!
Nearly 70 Experts and government departments shared their experiences and opinions on the promotion of the New Southbound Policy, including Wen-Bo Lin, chairman of the National Association of Chinese Shipowners, Mu-Zhi Chen, chairman of the International Ocean Freight Forwarders & Logistics Association of Taiwan, Ying-Cheng Hung, chairman of the Taiwan Commercial Port Development Association, Yu-Min Liu, chairman of the ROC National Association of Shipping Agencies, Xi-Xian Huang, chairman of the Taipei Association of Shipping Agencies, and Che-Jung Wum, chairman of the ROC Container Terminal Transport Association. There were also representatives from the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, The Master Mariner’s Association of Taiwan, Evergreen Marine Corporation, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, American President Lines, and OOCL Group (Taiwan).
The Maritime and Port Bureau said that it has collected different opinions, created opportunities for development, and responded to future challenges by holding seminars like this one. Thus, it has written a new page in the promotion of the New Southbound Policy for maritime transport: the New Southbound Policy for maritime transport makes Taiwan prosperous!