Tue, Aug 15, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan, Guatemala FTA group set up

CNA , TAIPEI

An executive committee was established in Taipei yesterday to oversee the execution of a Taiwan-Guatemala free trade agreement (FTA) that took effect on July 1.

Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) and his Guatemalan counterpart, Marcio Cuevas, announced the inauguration of the new commission at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Chen said the committee will be charged with handling matters related to the FTA, including addressing bilateral trade disputes.

At its meeting yesterday the committee passed unified "country of origin" certification forms and enforcement rules for resolving trade disputes under the FTA.

The agreement is the second such accord Taiwan has signed following a similar earlier pact with Panama. It is also Guatemala's first FTA with an Asian country.

Describing the two countries' economies as complementary to each other, Chen said the free trade pact will spawn new business opportunities for both sides, with Guatemalan farm produce finding new markets in Taiwan while Taiwan's industrial goods will enter Guatemala on better terms.

Under the FTA, Chen said, Taiwan has agreed to offer an annual 60,000 tonne quota for Guatemalan sugar, which, besides benefiting Guatemalan farmers, is expected to help stabilize domestic sugar prices.

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