Ma praises Taiwan-NZ economic cooperation pact
17 July 2013
ROC President Ma Ying-jeou said July 16 that the recently concluded Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) will further boost bilateral trade and strengthen the nation’s regional economic integration prospects.
“I’m delighted at the potential of the ANZTEC for creating greater bilateral economic and trade profits,” Ma said. “The pact will strengthen economic cooperation ; promote industrial development ; demonstrate our commitment to further trade liberalization ; and encourage other trading partners to sign similar agreements with Taiwan.”
The president made the remarks during a reception in Taipei City held by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Among those attending were Premier Jiang Yi-huah, Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Y. L. Lin, Stephen Payton, director of Taipei-based New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office, members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives of the private sector.
The ANZTEC represents many firsts, Ma said. “New Zealand is the first developed economy, non-ROC diplomatic ally and Southern Hemisphere country to sign an economic cooperation agreement with Taiwan. It is also the first free trade agreement since the conclusion of Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010.
“This shows that government efforts to improve cross-strait relations and expand Taiwan’s international participation have paid off.”
Ma said in his 2010 debate with Taiwan opposition leaders on the ECFA, he stated that the strategy of expanding Taiwan’s role in the international community through mainland China and vice versa can run in tandem.
“Shortly after the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement was concluded June 21, the ANZTEC was sealed following 14 months of negotiation, proof the government has turned the once vicious cycle of cross-strait relations and international affairs into a virtuous one.”
In addition, part of the ANZTEC addresses issues that are not generally dealt with under the World Trade Organization rules, such as 132 stipulations on environmental protection and sustainable development, the president said, describing the agreement as a WTO-plus pact rarely seen in the international community.
The agreement also covers innovative areas such as open skies, film and TV production cooperation, as well as indigenous people exchanges, he added.
Ma said the ANZTEC demonstrates the ROC’s commitment to regional economic integration and creates favorable conditions for Taiwan to join trade blocs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
“The government will continue working to sign FTAs and ECAs with major trading partners under the principles of establishing multiple contacts and sealing deals one by one.”