Taiwan to pursue foreign trade deals after China pact

Taiwan will pursue trade deals with other countries that are crucial to economic growth, President Ma Ying-jeou said on Thursday, despite China's opposition to these agreements.

Taiwan to pursue foreign trade deals after China pact


Taiwan will pursue trade deals with other countries that are crucial to economic growth, President Ma Ying-jeou said on Thursday, despite China's opposition to these agreements.

Taiwan intends to sign with other Asian countries FTAs that will help the long-term growth of its export-reliant $390 billion economy, Ma said, even though China, which claims the island as its own, said it would bar its diplomatic allies from going into such deals.

"On that issue we should have a chance," Ma told a news conference when asked about the free trade deals.

"There are actually some Southeast Asian nations and other Asia-Pacific nations that are interested," Ma said, pledging to pursue them. "I believe that there should be some specific results coming out over in the near future."

Self-ruled Taiwan's relations with China have improved after six decades of tension after the signing of their own two-way trade pact on Tuesday.

China said last month that it would bar its 170 diplomatic allies including the world's most powerful nations from signing government-to-government trade deals with the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own.

China and Taiwan's economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) heavily favours Taiwan with 539 import tariffs cut by Beijing, twice what it gets in return, as the world economic powerhouse dangles sweeteners that it hopes will lead the self-ruled island to political unification.

Taiwan had hoped that ECFA would open doors to trade deals with other major economies such as Japan, the United States and Southeast Asian nations, allowing its economy to stay competitive with regional rivals.

Beijing may ultimately find a way to let Taiwan, also a free-standing World Trade Organisation member, sign FTAs as a further show of goodwill, analysts say.

Taiwan today has only five FTAs with Central American countries, which are among its own 23 diplomatic partners.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2010, 14:12

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