Gov’t hopes to start EU trade talks soon

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS -

Tai­wan is hop­ing to start ne­go­ti­at­ing with the Euro­pean Union on a bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment agree­ment in an ef­fort to strengthen bi­lat­eral trade re­la­tions, a for­eign af­fairs of­fi­cial said Thurs­day.

“It is among the is­sues in bi­lat­eral di­a­logue,” said Anna Kao, di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs’ Depart­ment of Euro­pean Af­fairs, in re­sponse to re­porters’ ques­tions at a news brief­ing.

Tai­wan has ex­pressed to EU of­fi­cials its wish to ne­go­ti­ate a bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment agree­ment and they sup­port the idea, Kao said.

She also noted the sev­eral res­o­lu­tions that have been passed by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in sup­port of strength­en­ing trade re­la­tions be­tween Tai­wan and the Euro­pean Union.

But it might take a while be­fore the two sides can en­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to Kao.

Euro­pean Union trade of­fi­cials are fo­cus­ing their ef­forts on ne­go­ti­at­ing trade agree­ments with other coun­tries, Kao said, but added that Tai­wan still hopes to start ne­go­ti­a­tions as soon as pos­si­ble.

Kao’s re­marks fol­lowed a call by Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou for the EU to start ne­go­ti­a­tions with Tai­wan on a bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment pact dur­ing a tele­con­fer­ence with the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment two days ear­lier.

The pres­i­dent said that since the EU and China have been in talks about an in­vest­ment agree­ment for al­most two years, now is a good time for the EU and Tai­wan to start par­al­lel talks on a bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment agree­ment.

An EU Tai­wan bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment agree­ment would have a “syn­er­gis­tic ef­fect” on the land­mark Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Frame­work Agree­ment (ECFA) signed in 2010 be­tween Tai­wan and China, Ma said.

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