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September 24, 2017

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Taiwan diplomat calls for FTAs with EU

BRUSSELS -- Taiwan's top envoy to the European Union and Belgium called Monday for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Taiwan and the EU, saying that the ground has already been laid with the recent signing of a trade pact with China.

In an exclusive interview with Lukas de Vos, a senior editor at a Belgium broadcasting company VRT, Y. L. Lin said Taiwan has a deep sense that its signing of an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China in late June has helped to create a foundation for FTAs with China in late June has helped to create a foundation for FTAs with other countries.

"Taiwan has a high degree of willingness to clinch FTAs with its major trade partners, including the EU, the United States, Japan and the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)," Lin said.

However, he said, the Taiwan government should first seek to remove the barriers to an FTA with the EU, adding that an annual two-way trade consultation conference will serve as a good platform to launch the initiative.

Lin also urged that Taiwan be allowed to join the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as an observer and make a contribution to the world in that field.

The ICAO is scheduled to hold its triennial conference in Montreal, Canada in September.

Both the European Parliament and the U.S. House of Representatives have passed resolutions in support of Taiwan's efforts to gain observer status in the ICAO.

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