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Taiwan completes FTA consultations with El Salvador, Honduras



Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) — Taiwan has completed free trade agreement (FTA) consultations on all issues, including country of origin and market access issues, with El Salvador and Honduras, the Board of Foreign Trade (BOFT) said Monday.

BOFT officials said that Taiwan started the three-way FTA consultations in late May this year. The three nations conducted the fourth round of FTA consultations in Los Angeles Nov. 20-24.

Taiwan was represented by Vice Economic Affairs Minister Hsieh Fa-ta, while Eduardo Ayala, El Salvador’s vice minister of economy, and Melvin Redondo, an official from Honduras’ Ministry of Industry and Commerce, represented the two Central American countries, in the talks, the officials said.

The three top negotiators signed a memorandum of understanding upon completion of the FTA consultations, the officials said, adding that the FTAs with the two countries will be formally inked after all three sides examine the legal documents.

The officials said the signing of the FTAs will help promote Taiwan’s bilateral relations with its Central American diplomatic allies and cement their friendship. It will also help Taiwan businesspeople gain access to the North American market using Central America as a springboard, they added.

Since the United States-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) came into effect, Taiwan has been actively seeking to sign FTAs with its diplomatic allies in the region to help Taiwan manufacturers tap markets in North, Central and South America by making the most of the FTA mechanism, they said.

Taiwan has so far inked FTAs with Panama, Guatemala and Nicaragua. It also started FTA talks with the Dominican Republic in October.

(By Lilian Wu)

 source: CNA