Thu, Nov 11, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan supports an Asia-Pacific free-trade region

CNA , TAIPEI

Taiwan supports the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific to help accelerate regional free trade and investment reforms, delegates to an informal leadership meeting of the Asia-Pacific Econ-omic Cooperation (APEC) forum told the president yesterday.

The establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific -- a resolution reached during an APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting held in Taipei in May -- will help accelerate the implementation of plans that were hammered out in the 1994 Bogor Declaration, the delegates said.

Chinatrust Financial Holding Corp (中信金控) chairman Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松), TECO Group (東元集團) chairman Theodore Huang (黃茂雄) and I-Mei Foods Co (義美食品) vice chairman Henry Kao (高志尚), who will take part in the ABAC meeting to be held in Chile from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, made the remarks during a meeting at the Presidential Office with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

The trio presented Chen with a copy of an ABAC proposal to the APEC informal leadership meeting scheduled to take place in the Chilean capital Santiago from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21 urging the APEC leaders to help facilitate the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

The ABAC proposal also suggests that leaders of the APEC economies discuss the feasibility of implementing a Trans-Pacific Business Agenda -- a resolution reached at another ABAC meeting held last month in Auckland, New Zealand -- to further optimize APEC's free trade spirit and obligations, the delegates said.

They said that although the Bogor goals form the bedrock of APEC's visions for trade and investment liberalization and APEC leaders have constantly vowed to help achieve the goals, it is difficult to imagine some of the APEC economies, particularly in industrially-advanced countries, fully opening their trade and investment regimes before 2010.

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