Tue, Sep 18, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Trade delegation begins American tour

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, PANAMA CITY

A trade delegation organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) arrived in Panama on Sunday to conduct procurements and examine the investment climate of the Central American country.

Panama is the first leg of the delegation's 20-day trade promotional tour of five Central American states that have signed free trade agreements with Taiwan.

In addition to Panama, the group is also scheduled to visit Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Wu Hsin-hua (吳新華), deputy director-general of the ministry's Bureau of Foreign Trade and the leader of the delegation, said the bureau and TAITRA began to organize the mission in March after Taiwan signed FTAs with the five diplomatic allies to enhance bilateral trade exchanges.

Meanwhile, Ambassador to Panama Tomas Hou (侯平福) said the nation's annual exports to Panama amounted to approximately US$20 million per year, and it exports approximately US$700 million in products to other Latin American and Caribbean nations via Panama's Colon Free Trade Zone every year.

The delegation will be seeking to procure a variety of agricultural and fishery products, including beef, coffee, vegetable oil, timber and sugar, with the total amount spent expected to exceed US$7 million.

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