Legislature ratifies Guatemalan FTA
21 December 2005
The Legislative Yuan yesterday ratified the ROC-Guatemala free trade agreement (FTA), which will take effect this Jan. 1 as scheduled.
The agreement was signed by President Chen Shui-bian and his Guatemalan counterpart Oscar Berger Perdomo on Sept. 22 during Chen’s state visit to the Central American nation.
Chen had expressed the hope that the FTA would come into effect on the first day of 2006 in line with the implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
The CAFTA covers the US, central American nations and the Dominican Republic.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs predicts that the Taiwan-Guatemala FTA will only have a limited impact on Taiwan’s agricultural sector.
It says that although Taiwan’s doors will be opened wide to agricultural imports from that country, there will still be strict screening and quarantine measures in place.
When he signed the pact, Chen said that the FTA would help redress the trade imbalance between Taiwan and Guatemala, which is heavily in Taiwan’s favor.
He added that Guatemala could use Taiwan as a gateway to explore the wider Asian market, while Taiwan could use Guatemala as a springboard into the North American market.
Taiwan last year exported US$110 million in goods to Guatemala while importing US$4.1 million in Guatemalan products, according to government figures.
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