Central News Agency, Taiwan
Guatemala pushes FTA talks with Taiwan
31 July 2004
Guatemalan President Oscar Berger called for his country and the Republic of China Thursday to hold talks for signing a free trade agreement as soon as possible.
Berger made the comments when he received R.O.C. Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (¤ýª÷¥) and four other R.O.C. legislators, who are currently in Guatemala to attend the July 30 forum for parliamentary speakers from Central American and Caribbean nations.
Emphasizing that Guatemala and the ROC have traditionally had friendly and close relations, the president said the two countries should forge ahead by uniting their forces.
Saying that the current Guatemalan government is clean, honest and efficient, Berger expressed the hope that the R.O.C. government would encourage Taiwan businesspeople to invest in Guatemala. The president also guaranteed that the Guatemalan authorities will do their utmost to help Taiwan investors.
Touching on how to promote substantial relations between the two countries, the president said that signing an FTA is very important, adding that he hopes Guatemala and the ROC will be able to begin negotiations for the signing of such an agreement as soon as possible.
Berger also said he hopes the R.O.C.’s airliners would operate regular flight services between Taiwan and Guatemala.
In response to President Chen Shui-bian’s (³¯¤ô«ó) invitation conveyed by the R.O.C.’s legislative speaker, Berger said that he promised to visit the island at an appropriate time.
Noting that he and President Chen have established a very close friendship dating back to the time when they served as mayors, Berger also invited Chen to visit Guatemala.
Meanwhile, Wang expressed his admiration for what Berger has done to promote his nation’s image in the international community and for the Guatemalan first lady’s charity services for the poor.