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Taiwan hopes to sign FTA with El Salvador in October

Taiwan News, Taiwan

Taiwan hopes to sign FTA with El Salvador in October

21 June 2006

Taiwan hopes to sign a free trade agreement with El Salvador in October, if negotiations could be completed smoothly, Director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Central and South American Affairs Ko Jai-son said on Tuesday. Ko noted that the signing of the pact could take place during Salvadoran President Elias Antonio Saca’s scheduled visit to Taiwan this October.

Taiwan signed an FTA with Nicaragua last Friday, the third trade pact established with its Central American allies, following agreements with Panama and Guatemala.

Ko said that Taiwan is also engaging in FTA talks with other countries in the region, including El Salvador and Honduras.

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen late last month led a delegation to El Salvador for the first round of FTA negotiations with the two countries, Ko noted, adding that the second round of negotiations will begin the middle of next month.

Although a letter of intent for an FTA has been signed with the Dominican Republic, Ko added, the signing of an FTA signing will not be on the itinerary when Dominican President Leonel Fernandez Reyna visits Taiwan at the end of the month.

Through the FTA framework, Taiwan hopes that it could transform itself and the Central American countries into a large free trade zone, which could also enable Taiwanese businesses to enter the United States market and utilize the preferential tariff treatments enjoyed by these countries, Ko said.