Radio Taiwan International
ROC representative to EU to push for FTA
17 December 2010
The Republic of China’s (ROC) representative to the European Union and Belgium, David Lin, says that ROC diplomats in Europe are set to begin pushing for a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. The ROC is the official name of Taiwan’s government.
The plans to push for an FTA follow a recent EU decision to waive visa requirements for Taiwanese visitors to Europe.
Lin’s comments came in a recent interview with EurActive, which bills itself as "an independent specialized European Union affairs portal for EU policy professionals."
Lin told the website that signing an FTA with the EU is a mid- to long-term goal. He said that while official negotiations have yet to begin, ROC diplomats have already completed preparations. The two sides have also already established a working group to discuss issues such as intellectual property rights and the automobile industry.
The European Union signed an FTA with South Korea in September. The EurActive article said that FTA is being hailed as the largest such agreement that the EU has signed with a country in Asia. The article said that the agreement, which is set to go into effect on July 1st next year, will put added pressure on Taiwan and Japan.
The article said that the EU has been cautious about pushing for an FTA with Taiwan due to pressure from China. That’s because EU nations hold official ties with China and not with Taiwan. But while EU nations and Taiwan do not have official ties, Taiwan is nevertheless a member of the World Trade Organization.