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Talks On Taiwan-Nicaragua FTA Start In Taipei

Central News Agency, Taiwan


Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) The first round of talks on a Taiwan-Nicaragua free trade agreement (FTA) started in Taipei Monday. Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) officials said that a 20-member Nicaraguan delegation is visiting Taipei to negotiate with its Taiwanese counterparts. The negotiations, which are centered on issues to be put on the agenda of bilateral talks and an exchange of lists of products to be liberalized, will last through Sept. 24, the officials said, adding that the two sides also expect to map out a draft agreement. The meeting has been divided into panel discussions covering market access, regulations and processes, investment and the service industry, labor and environmental protection, and trade cooperation. The topics include national treatment, animal and plant inspection and quarantine, technical trade barriers, origin certification, dispute settlements, intellectual property protection, investment and the service industry development. In line with international protocol, the two sides will not reveal any details of the negotiations prior to a joint news conference to be held Sept. 24, when the first round of bilateral consultations concludes, the officials noted. Nicaragua initiated a proposal for signing an FTA with Taiwan in August when Premier Yu Shyi-kun visited the Central American nation, they added. Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh, who accompanied Yu on the visit, signed an FTA consultation framework accord Aug. 20 with his Nicaraguan counterpart, Mario Arana, under which the two sides agreed to start the FTA talks as soon as possible. (By Huang Kwang-chun)