Amid speculation that Taiwan and Japan are close to sealing a trade pact this week, an official at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday refused to confirm the date, but said more details would be included in the accord.
According to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, the two countries will formally sign an investment protection pact tomorrow at the earliest when Mitsuo Ohashi, chairman of the Interchange Association, Japan, makes his first trip in his official capacity to Taiwan from tomorrow through Saturday.
A ministry official declined to confirm the newspaper report, but said the pact would be different from similar pacts between Taiwan and other countries. It would not only involve investment protection, but also include bilateral investment promotion and liberalization.
For the open market principles involved in investment liberalization, the official said both sides would propose a list of products to be eligible for national and most-favored-nation treatment.
As Tokyo cares about how Japanese investors’ rights and interests will be safeguarded, a dispute-arbitration mechanism will be listed in the pact, the official said on condition of anonymity.
Once signed, the pact is expected to bring another wave of Japanese investment to Taiwan, the official said.
The report said an open skies agreement would also be signed during Ohashi’s visit, which would liberalize bilateral commercial aviation exchanges.
Japan is the largest source of imports in Taiwan and is also the biggest investor in Taiwan, with investment capital reaching US$400 million last year.