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Taiwan To Start FTA Talks With Israel : Officials

Central News Agency, Taiwan

17 September 2004


Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) Taiwan is expected to sign an investment protection pact with Israel and start bilateral negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) soon, Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) officials said Friday. CEPD officials met with Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Ehud Olmert during a fact-finding trip to the Middle-East nation early this month. The officials said they received a letter from Olmert soon after their return in which Olmert agreed that both sides should start preparing for the signing of the investment protection pact and further negotiate on an FTA. The FTA issue will be included in the agenda of a Taiwan-Israel economic conference to take place in December, the officials said. With the backing of its advanced defense technology, Israel enjoys a strong research and development capacity in terms of communications and telecommunications industries, the officials noted. Agriculture, bio-technology and trade also account for a major part of the economy of Israel, which has signed FTAs with the United States and the 25 member nations of the European Union, they added. (By Y.F. Low)