Thu, Dec 25, 2014 - Page 3 News List

AIT praises Taiwan for successful year, anticipates progress

Staff writer, with CNA

The US representative to Taiwan said that the US anticipates progress in bilateral trade talks next year, in a statement published on Tuesday commenting on “recent success in Taiwan.”

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Christopher Marut said that Taiwan is “on track to rank as the United States’ 10th-largest trading partner for [this year],” which he attributed to rising trade aided by “companies’ strong linkages in global high-technology manufacturing and sales.”

According to statistics released by the US Department of Commerce earlier this month, Taiwan was the US’ 10th-largest trading partner for the first 10 months of this year, with two-way trade totaling US$56.4 billion.

Marut talked about the importance of talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which resumed last year after a nearly six-year hiatus.

“TIFA talks continue to play an invaluable role in facilitating frank and open discussion of the remaining market access challenges in our economic relationship, and we anticipate further progress in 2015,” he said. “Taiwan’s regulatory authorities have also taken important steps over the past several months to create a friendlier environment for foreign investment, in particular welcoming the return of US private equity investment to play a constructive role in Taiwan’s ongoing economic transformation.”

Marut also praised Taiwan for its humanitarian aid efforts.

He acknowledged Taiwanese aid provided to people displaced in Iraq and Syria, with more than US$7 million of assistance through more than 3,000 tonnes of rice, 350 prefabricated shelters in northern Iraq, a mobile hospital in southeastern Turkey, psychological counseling for young refugees in Jordan, and other efforts.

He also commended the donation of 100,000 sets of personal protective equipment for medical workers treating the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, as well as a US$1 million donation to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation in the US.

The statement came at the end of the year that marked the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, the law which Marut said continues to underpin relations between Taiwan and the US.

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