The free-trade agreement (FTA) between Taiwan and Honduras is to end in 180 days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
The Permanent Mission of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu to the WTO was notified of the termination via an e-mail sent by Honduras’ Permanent Mission to the WTO on Friday last week, the ministry said.
The e-mail was sent on the day Honduran President Xiomara Castro led a delegation to China on a six-day visit, which included a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
Photo: Yang Cheng-yu, Taipei Times
Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in March.
The agreement stipulates that the withdrawal would take effect 180 days after one side notifies the other of its intention, the ministry said.
The ministry will assess and discuss the situation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs based on the agreement to begin the procedure, it said.
The rights and interests of Taiwanese businesses would be taken into account during the process, it added.
The severance of diplomatic ties does not lead to immediate termination of the FTA, and the government would handle the agreement in a way that is most beneficial to Taiwan case by case, a person familiar with the issue said.
For example, Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with El Salvador in 2018, but the FTA was officially terminated last month.
Nicaragua unilaterally nullified the FTA with Taiwan five days after cutting diplomatic ties with Taipei in 2021, after which the government granted preferential tariff status to affected businesses for six months.
Separately, Paraguay’s incoming foreign minister Ruben Ramirez reiterated the new administration’s commitment to maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Paraguay is willing to engage in dialogue with countries worldwide, which would not affect its relations with Taiwan, Ramirez said.
He also told Radio Monumental 1080AM last week that the relations between Paraguay and Taiwan are “undisputable,” the ministry said.
In addition, the government is planning to invite Paraguayan president-elect Santiago Pena to Taiwan, Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Deputy Director Chang Tzu-hsin (張自信) said yesterday.
Additional reporting by Lu Yi-hsuan
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