President Ma Ying-jeou said: "Over the past seven years we have left no stone unturned in building a free and prosperous Taiwan, developing peaceful relations across the Strait and create a friendly international environment"
To commemorate the seventh anniversary of the inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou, the president stated that the Government of the Republic of China is making significant progress in achieving its objectives in terms of policies and stay the course for the rest his second and final term in office.
"Over the past seven years we have left no stone unturned in building a free and prosperous Taiwan, developing peaceful relations across the Strait and create a friendly international environment," said Ma. "These policy objectives have laid the foundation for the sustainable development of Taiwan, "said President Ma.
The President said that the highest priority in his first term was to eliminate all barriers to the development of Taiwan locally and abroad, starting with the improvement in external relations.
"As a result of our focus on low profile and not surprisingly, the US government gave the green light to an important agreement on arms sales to Taiwan just six months after my inauguration," said Ma, adding that both countries have reconstructed a high level of confidence.
Similarly, there has been a positive development in trade between Taiwan and Japan. Both have signed 25 bilateral agreements since May 2008. "In particular, the open skies agreement that was settled four years ago allowed 2.97 million citizens of the Republic of China visited Japan last year; and 1.6 million Japanese come to Taiwan, "said President Ma.
As for the relations across the Taiwan Strait, the president said that improving ties has created significant economic benefits for both parties. After implementation in September 2010 of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement across the Strait, the average growth of bilateral trade reaches of 6 to 7 percent a year, and savings in tariffs for local businesses exceed 2,200 million Americans, according to Ma.
However, closer trade relations across the Straits have not led to an economic dependence on the mainland, and thanks to market diversification efforts of the Government, mainland China accounts for 39.7 percent of total exports Taiwan.
Ma stressed the importance of achieving balanced trade development. "That is why we must strive to sign free trade agreements and economic cooperation with key partners and enter the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement and the comprehensive Economic Partnership Regional," said Ma.
On the domestic front, President Ma said his administration's efforts to reduce the income gap in Taiwan. "We continue with the implementation of policies and related tax reform to further improve income distribution measures," said Ma.