Taiwan should turn to the Chinese and East Asian markets to ensure that its petrochemical industry can thrive, industry leaders said during a meeting at the Ministry of Economic Affairs as per CNA. Although Taiwan has managed to raise the added value rate of its petrochemical products at home, it should also search for investment opportunities in foreign countries if it wants to survive the increasing international competition, they said. To be more specific, Taiwan should work with developing countries with large market demand for petrochemical products, said Wenent Pan, chairman of China Technical Consultants, Inc. "China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia are among our top choices," he said. Since every 1% increase in a country's gross domestic product reflects a 1.6% increase in demand for petrochemicals, these regions are ideal for Taiwanese companies to pursue production on a massive scale. Taiwan should also eye business opportunities with announcement of China's 12th 5 year economic plan. As China implements the centralized economic development guidelines between 2011 and 2015, the country will need to rely heavily on Taiwan's specialty petrochemicals. Through cross-strait cooperation, Chen said, Taiwan can expand its spending on petrochemical R&D -- a major factor in raising the added value rate -- and attract foreign investment. The industry is increasingly looking overseas for investment opportunities since the government shot down a proposal by the Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co. to locate a new naphtha cracker complex in a wetland area of central Taiwan.