Wed, Dec 14, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan wants more trade with Russia after WTO entrance

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan is hoping to boost trade ties with Russia after the latter becomes a member of the WTO, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

Russia, the Republic of Montenegro, the Republic of Vanuatu and the Independent State of Samoa are expected to be formally approved this week as the global trade body’s newest members at a WTO meeting of trade ministers.

Russia’s taxation system will gain more transparency after joining the WTO and that would be a business boon to Taiwan, whose exports to Russia expanded 85.8 percent to US$1.08 billion last year, Bureau of Foreign Trade Director-General Cho Shih-chao (卓士昭) said.

That makes Russia Taiwan’s 25th-largest trading partner, Chao told reporters, adding that there are promising business opportunities to tap.

The WTO deal means Russia will reduce its tariff ceiling to 7.1 percent over the next two to three years from an average of 10.3 percent for all products from 2008 to last year, Cho said.

It will also reduce the average tariff on farm goods to 11.3 percent from 15.6 percent and cut the ceiling average for manufactured goods to 6.4 percent from 9.4 percent, he said.

Cho and other officials are expected to join Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen--shiang (施顏祥) at the WTO meeting, scheduled to be held from tomorrow through Saturday in Geneva, Switzerland.

Shih is expected to make a five-minute statement, along with other trade ministers, to welcome the new WTO members and stress the importance of multilateral trade, Cho said.

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