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Taiwan should not rush trade pact negotiations: minister

Focus Taiwan News Channel

Taiwan should not rush trade pact negotiations: minister

4 July 2012

By Huang Chiao-wen and Maia Huang

Taipei, July 4 (CNA) Taiwan should not rush negotiations on free trade agreements (FTAs) with its trade partners, the head of the Council for Economic Planning and Development said Wednesday, in light of upcoming trade talks among China, Japan and South Korea.

Taiwan has been making great efforts to reduce the risk of becoming marginalized as a result of the soon-to-be formed trade bloc among the three countries, Minister Yiin Chii-ming said.

Taiwan is not capable of trying to forge FTAs with many countries at the same time because of limited resources, Yiin said at a meeting organized by the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce to discuss the realization of the country’s economic visions.

"Instead, we should focus on seeking FTAs with key trade partners first," he added.

Concerning ongoing trade talks, the minister said negotiations on the agreement of Singapore and Taiwan economic partnership have so far taken 18 months and are expected to be completed within one more year, a timeframe that is "acceptable" in terms of negotiating terms of a pact with another country.

In addition, Taiwan will work to strike the remaining four deals under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China, as well as pacts with New Zealand and India.