President calls for economic cooperation accord with EU
CNATAIPEI--Taiwan and the European Union should sign an economic cooperation agreement as soon as possible because it will be beneficial to both sides, President Ma Ying-jeou said recently.
October 5, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
“The objective of negotiating with the EU to sign a free trade agreement or economic cooperation agreement is primarily for the benefit of both parties,” Ma was quoted as saying in a report by Euronews.
Bilateral trade between Taiwan and the EU reached US$48 billion in 2012. The EU is the largest source of investment in Taiwan, having invested over US$32 billion, he said, according to the report dated Thursday.
Taiwan has been relatively isolated over the past 60 years because of international political pressure, but it remains a very important trading nation, with its imports ranking 17th and exports ranking 18th globally, the president said.
Citing a study by a think tank in Denmark, Ma said that if such a trade pact were signed, Taiwan's exports to the EU would grow by 10 billion euros (US$13.62 billion) and Europe's exports to Taiwan would increase by 12 billion euros over the next two to five years.
Such a pact has become especially important because Taiwan is facing a considerable economic threat from a free trade agreement signed by major trade rival South Korea and the EU two years ago, the president said.
“We've already fallen behind, so should catch up as soon as possible,” he said.