Taiwan-Honduras free trade pact goes into effect

DPA | 16 July 2008

Taiwan-Honduras free trade pact goes into effect

Taipei — Taiwan’s free trade agreement (FTA) with Honduras has gone into effect, further expanding trade ties between Taipei and Tegucigalpa, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The Taipei-Honduras agreement is a three-party FTA between Taiwan, El Salvador and Honduras. The three nations signed the FTA in May 2007 to boost diplomatic and trade ties.

The Taiwan-El Salvador FTA became effective on March 1.

Taiwan’s ambassador to Honduras, Lai Chien-chung, and Honduran Foreign Minister Edmundo Orellana Mercado ratified the Taiwan-Honduras FTA on July 15 in Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, and the FTA became effective the same day.

Under the agreement, Taiwan will grant tariff exemption to 6,135 import products from Honduras while Honduras will exempt tariffs on 3,881 Taiwanese products.

The Taiwan-El Salvador-Honduras agreement is aimed at boosting bilateral trade as well as allowing Taiwanese goods to enter the North American market via Central America and letting Central American goods enter the Asian market via Taiwan.

This is the fourth such agreement Taiwan has signed with foreign countries.

Taiwan, which is recognized by 23 smaller nations, is attempting to sign free trade agreements with large countries such as the US, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

However, these countries are reluctant to sign FTAs with Taiwan as they have diplomatic ties with China.

China sees Taiwan as its breakaway province and bars foreign countries from launching formal ties with Taipei.

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