Thu, Nov 10, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Guatemala FTA may boost exports by 6%


Taiwan's free trade agreement with Guatemala is expected to boost Taiwan's exports by between 5.5 percent and 6 percent, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) said yesterday.

In a report to the Legislative Yuan, Chen cited a study conducted by the Chung Hua Institution for Economic Research as saying that trade between Taiwan and Guatemala has great potential for growth in light of the fact that bilateral trade stood at US$114.75 million last year, with US$110.67 million worth of exports to Guatemala and US$4.08 million worth of imports from Guatemala.

The agreement, signed on Sept. 22 ahead of the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), will give Taiwanese businesses with investments in Guatemala access to the vast American market, especially the US, once the FTAA is formally launched, Chen said.

Even before the FTAA is in place, Taiwanese businesses will be able to use Guatemala as a gateway to US and EU markets through Guatemala's bilateral trade agreements with them, thereby enjoying the lower tariffs provided for in the agreements.

The FTAA will be the world's largest trade bloc with a combined GDP of US$14.8 trillion, or 40 percent of the world's total, and trade of US$3.9 trillion, or 21.4 percent of the world's total.

The FTA, which is awaiting ratification by the legislature, will take effect on Jan. 1 next year.

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