Taiwan, New Zealand to assess trade options: economic affairs chief
CNATAIPEI--Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang announced yesterday that Taiwan and New Zealand will start a feasibility assessment for a bilateral economic cooperation agreement.
October 26, 2011, 11:53 pm TWN
Shih said that since the signing of the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China in June 2010, New Zealand has become the second country after Singapore to discuss the possibility of such a trade pact with Taiwan.
He said New Zealand is the first country outside of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to consider such an agreement with Taiwan.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, trade relations between the two countries are stable. Taiwan was New Zealand's eighth-largest export market and its 15th-largest import source in 2010.
The gross value of exports from New Zealand to Taiwan reached US$610 million in that year, while imports from Taiwan to New Zealand were US$470 million.
The ministry added that a trade accord will benefit both countries and facilitate a more efficient use of resources.
Shih said that if the deals with Singapore and New Zealand are signed, “it will help Taiwan join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), also known as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, since those two countries play the main roles in TPP partnership negotiations.”
The ministry said the discussions with New Zealand will be in line with President Ma Ying-jeou's National Day speech and his so-called “golden decade” pledge.
Shih said Taiwan should take advantage of its ties with China — its biggest trade partner — and discuss signing trade pacts with other countries to open up more business opportunities.