Tue, Nov 28, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Taipei inks provisional FTA agreement

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Taiwan has completed free trade agreement (FTA) consultations with El Salvador and Honduras, the Board of Foreign Trade said yesterday.

Bureau officials said Taiwan started the three-way FTA consultations in May. The three nations conducted the fourth round of FTA consultations in the US last week.

The nation was represented by Vice Economic Affairs Minister Hsieh Fa-ta (謝發達), while El Salvador's Vice Minister of Economy Eduardo Ayala and Melvin Redondo, an official from Honduras' Ministry of Industry and Commerce, represented the two Central American countries, in the talks, the officials said.

The three negotiators signed a memorandum of understanding upon completion of the FTA consultations, the officials said, adding that the FTAs will be formally inked after all three sides examine the legal documents.

The officials said that the signing of the FTAs would help promote Taiwan's bilateral relations with its Central American diplomatic allies and cement their friendship. It will also help Taiwanese businesspeople gain access to the North American market using Central America as a springboard, they added.

Since the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement came into effect, Taiwan has been actively pursuing FTAs with diplomatic allies in the region to help manufacturers tap markets in North, Central and South America, they said.

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