When the Government of the Republic of China moved to Taiwan in early 1949, many aspects of Taiwan’s administration had been neglected and there was a general lack of resources. At that time, trade was regulated through the Business and Finance Group of the Taiwan Provincial Production Management Commission and the Taiwan Provincial Foreign Exchange and Trade Review Group.
In 1955, the administration of trade was transferred to the central government, and the Foreign Exchange and Trade Review Commission (or “Foreign Trade Commission”) was set up under the Executive Yuan; the work of the Working Committee on Foreign Exchange Revenue and Expenditure was also brought under the auspices of the Foreign Trade Commission. The first Chairman of the Foreign Trade Commission was Hsu, Po-yuan, who was then concurrently Minister of Finance. In 1968 and 1969, the Executive Yuan reorganized the Foreign Exchange and Trade Review Commission in line with new international trends by dividing the Commission’s authority and operations among the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Central Bank of China, and by setting up BOFT under the Ministry of Economic Affairs to administer trade in general commercial goods.
The BOFT was formally established on January 1, 1969. Over the past 40 years, BOFT has undergone many structural adjustments to meet changes in the international trade and economic environment. One example is the establishment of a Kaohsiung office in July 1978 to meet the growing needs of companies in southern Taiwan.
The BOFT will continue to reinforce the following tasks: actively participating in WTO negotiations as well as APEC and OECD activities; strengthening bilateral relations and negotiating FTAs; promoting trade liberalization and facilitation; and selecting key markets to help industries radicated in Taiwan expand their export markets. The BOFT will also draw up concrete measures to add new momentum to Taiwan’s foreign trade, upgrade the competitiveness of our exports, and attain the goal of sustainable economic development.