Taiwan wants FTA with EU

The China Post | Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MOEA head : Taiwan wants FTA with EU

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Yiin Chii-ming, said yesterday that Taiwan wants an FTA with the EU.

Speaking at the September Monthly Members Luncheon of the European Chamber of Commerce (ECCT), MOEA Minister Yiin said that an FTA between Taiwan and the EU would "serve the investment and trade interests of both sides."

Speaking at the ECCT’s September Monthly Members Luncheon on the subject of EU-Taiwan Investment and Trade Relations, Minister Yiin said that the current administration under President Ma Ying-jeou places "high priority" on pursuing bilateral trade deals with its major trading partners including the United States and the EU.

Minister Yiin referred to the speech given by ECCT Chairman Philippe Pellegrin and addressed to President Ma at the chamber’s Europe Day Dinner in June this year, during which Pellegrin called upon the governments of both Taiwan and EU to begin talks on a mutually beneficial trade deal.

During that speech, Chairman Pellegrin announced that the ECCT had commissioned a feasibility study on the potential benefits for both Taiwan and the EU if the two sides signed a Trade Enhancement Measures Agreement.

The main findings of the study, which is now close to completion, are to be presented at the ECCT’s Business Forum on EU-Taiwan Investment and Trade Relations to be held on 6 October but initial findings reveal that trade enhancement measures, would increase bilateral trade annually by billions of euros.

Minister Yiin concurred with this initial conclusion citing statistics from Taiwan’s Chung Hua Institution of Economic Research that showed that a trade agreement between the EU and Taiwan would boost trade and GDP for both sides. He therefore thanked the ECCT for its initiative and expressed the government’s interest in looking at trade enhancement measures, which he described as a foundation for an eventual FTA.

Answering a question from the audience on how the government plans to deal with the current global credit crisis, Minister Yiin expressed confidence that Taiwan would weather the storm thanks to strong local fundamentals.

The government will use a credit guarantee fund to help banks support local SMEs through the difficult times. Looking ahead at new ways to boost Taiwan’s economic development, the MoEA is encouraging private sector investment in new sectors such as green products including zero-emission vehicles and energy saving devices.

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source: China Post