Mon, Feb 09, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Delegation to APEC secures Taiwan role at FTAAP discussion

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s delegation to the APEC first senior officials meeting in the Philippines over the weekend announced that the nation has secured a vital participatory role in upcoming talks over regional economic integration.

Tom Chou (周台竹), director-general of the Department of International Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Taiwan has secured a position in the special task force overseeing the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) trade agreement.

The announcement was made at the end of the first day of the two-day APEC meeting at the Clark Freeport Zone, in Angeles City, about 100km north of Manila.

The special task force plans to conduct studies on implementing the FTAAP, and is expected to submit its findings before the end of next year.

Chou said that the nation’s inclusion in the special task force represents a major milestone toward joining the very important regional economic integration organization.

The FTAAP has become one of the top issues discussed among APEC members, and is regarded as an avenue toward integrating the economies of the Asia-Pacific and diminishing trade barriers in the region.

In November last year, China announced that it would be endorsing the FTAAP during a round of APEC leaders’ meetings in Beijing by launching a two-year strategic study. Beijing’s endorsement of the FTAAP is regarded as a way to rival the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty, which exudes China and Russia.

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