Taiwan’s e-commerce sector is set for a significant boost under an ROC Ministry of Economic Affairs-initiated project that will help local merchants extend their footprint in overseas markets.
Under the initiative, qualified data processing service providers will function as payment clearing agents for local e-retailers and foreign buyers, a critical step in assisting the former grow their businesses.
“The MOEA is in the process of reviewing applications from two Taiwan-based service providers, and will announce the result by the end of the quarter,” an MOEA official said Jan. 14.
According to the official, Taiwan’s e-commerce output hit NT$660 billion (US$22.76 billion) in 2012, up 17 percent year on year despite the stagnant global economy. The MOEA expects this figure to surpass NT$1 trillion in 2015, the official added.
“A key driver of further growth is cross-border transactions,” the official said, citing a recent study by state-run Institute for Information Industry that showed 28.4 percent of local e-retailers have experience in the market.
The same study also indicated that more than 20.7 percent of respondents wish to follow suit in the next two years, with Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China nominated as top destinations for such activities on the strength of geographic proximity, minimal cultural and language barriers, and a preference for Taiwan-made goods.
“But the main obstacle is the inability of local e-retailers to process cross-border payments given their relatively small business operations and the complexities involved, such as currency exchanges and possible money laundering,” the official said.
The MOEA’s latest move follows several meetings last year with representatives from the ROC Central Bank, Financial Supervisory Commission and Ministry of Justice.
“We will continue mapping out measures to eliminate hurdles impeding the free flow of capital and goods across borders and help enhance the global competitiveness of Taiwan’s e-retailers,” the official said.