Sat, May 27, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Officials head to South America to initiate FTA talks

CNA , TAIPEI

The first round of Taiwan's free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with El Salvador and Honduras is expected to take place from Monday to Wednesday in Central America, officials with the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Thursday.

The officials said that Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆), at the head of a group of trade officials, is scheduled to travel to El Salvador today for the trade talks.

In addition to El Salvador and Honduras, Taiwan is also scheduled to start FTA talks with Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic in the second half of this year, the officials pointed out.

After the US-Central America Free-Trade Agreement (CAFTA) came into effect this year, Taiwan has been actively seeking to sign FTAs with its diplomatic allies in that region to help Taiwanese manufacturers tap markets in North, Central and South America by making the most of the FTA mechanism, they said.

So far, Taiwan has inked FTAs with Panama and Guatemala.

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