Taiwan News Online
President pitches for FTA with Honduras
Maduro in town for Double Ten, urges businessmen to invest in Central America
2005-10-10 - Central News Agency
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) made a pitch for the signing of a free trade agreement with Honduras during a state banquet host by him for visiting Honduras President Ricardo Maduro yesterday.
Noting that a free trade agreement between the United States and Central America, as well as the Dominican Republic will take effect on January 1, next year, Chen said his country is eager to tap the American market via its Central American allies, not the least Honduras.
Honduras can work together with Taiwan more closely in exploring the North America market if a free trade agreement is concluded between the two countries, hopefully during Maduro’s term, Chen said.
He reiterated a promise he made on September 22 in Guatemala City when he was on a trip to five Central American states that his country will offer US$250 million in aid to its allies there and encourage Taiwan businessmen to invest there.
The president admired Maduro as a successful entrepreneur and a statesman with vision, adding that he hopes he will enjoy his time in Taiwan.
Maduro arrived in Taiwan earlier in the day for the celebration of Taiwan’s Double Ten National Day today.
Maduro received a 21-gun salute and, together with his Taiwanese counterpart Chen Shui-bian, reviewed Taiwan’s military honour guards, officials said.
Maduro was also expected to meet legislative speaker, Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the main opposition Kuomintang party, and visit the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101.
Only 25 countries, mostly small Latin American and African nations, recognize Taipei over Beijing, and many have received generous financial development aid from the island.
Latin America is a battleground in the decades-old diplomatic tug-of-war between Taiwan and China, which have been rivals since their split in 1949 at the end of the civil war.