The government will prioritize exports of Taiwanese agricultural products to the US market in bilateral talks on the implementation of the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
Tsai made the remarks during a visit to the Dasian Temple (大賢 宮) in Nantou County’s Mingjian Township (名間) on the second day of the Lunar New Year, where she offered prayers for the new year and handed out red envelopes.
Tsai said the government would aim to “systematically improve rural infrastructure, especially water conservation and irrigation systems, so that farmers can grow better crops more easily.”
The government is also looking at ways to help small and medium-sized enterprises reduce labor costs through the use of smart technology, she said.
The most important task now for Taiwan is to expand trade in the international agricultural market, she said, adding that the government sees the trade initiative as a way for Taiwan to trade top-quality agricultural products with the US.
“This is a priority project for us. We hope to market good agricultural products to the world, at good prices,” she said.
Taiwan and the US last week wrapped up their latest round of talks in Taipei under the trade initiative, which was launched in June last year.
The Office of Trade Negotiations has said it aims to complete talks with Washington in the areas of trade facilitation, combating corruption, small and medium-sized enterprises, good regulatory practices and the domestic regulation of services.
It added that it hoped to announce the results of those talks before the APEC summit is held in the US later this year.
Separately, Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the new chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, yesterday morning visited New Taipei City’s Guangji Temple (廣濟宮), Wugu Siandi Temple (五穀先帝廟), Jian Temple (濟安宮) and Zhennan Temple (鎮南宮) as part of his nationwide temple visits during the Lunar New Year holiday.
While giving out red envelopes at the temples, Lai said he hoped that in the coming year, companies and the general public would demonstrate wit and prudence in the face of “poor international economic conditions, geopolitical changes and the threat of authoritarianism.”
Additional reporting by CNA
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the