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India, Indonesia on free trade path with Taiwan

Focus Taiwan News Channel

India, Indonesia on free trade path with Taiwan

By Lin Shu-yuan and Ann Chen

26 July 2011

Taipei (CNA) Both India and Indonesia are considering possibility of signing free trade agreements (FTA) with Taiwan.

Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) officials told the Central News Agency that the Taiwan-based Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research and the India Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) are moving to the last phase of dialogue on a possible FTA deal for the two countries, with the two sides expected to hold talks soon.

Meanwhile, MOEA’s ambition to tap the energy-rich Indonesia market has been made possible because of warming relations between the two countries.

Relations between Taiwan and Indonesia have improved in recent years following Taiwan’s signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China in 2010.

Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang visited Indonesia in 2010 — the first minister from Taiwan to set foot on the Southeast Asian country since 2006.

Shih said the budding relations have led to unofficial FTA talks between Taiwanese and Indonesian private think tanks.

Meanwhile, the Philippines have also said it would mull over the possibility of having FTA negotiations with Taiwan.

When asked about the progress between Taiwan’s FTA with Singapore — known as ASTEP — Shih said official talks are underway and would not comment further.