Representatives to receive trade bloc training

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Jan 24, 2014 - Page 3

Taiwanese representatives in countries that are negotiating new trade blocs for the Asia-Pacific region will return to Taiwan to receive training on the government’s preparations for gaining entry into regional economic groupings, the Cabinet said.

Representatives in countries that are negotiating the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are scheduled to return next month for a four-day training session aimed at equipping them with the skills necessary to acquire the support from the governments in their assigned countries for Taiwan’s bid to join the trade blocs, the Cabinet said in a statement.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the initiative will include representatives to Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, India, the US, Peru, Chile, Canada and Mexico.

The TPP is being negotiated by the US and 11 Pacific Rim nations — Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and Brunei.

The RCEP is being negotiated by the 10 ASEAN members, in addition to China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

As part of the government’s efforts to join the regional trade blocs, Taiwan will continue to push for trade liberalization and communicate with the public on the necessity of economic reform, while seeking support from other countries, the Cabinet said.

The government has set a goal of completing TPP preparations by July, it added.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has said that “Taiwan will not be absent and cannot be marginalized” in the wave of regional integration.

The countries negotiating the TPP make up 36 percent of Taiwan’s trade, while the RCEP nations account for 57 percent, Ma added.