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MOEA drafting roadmap for economic cooperation agreement.

Taipei, July 5, 2012 (CENS) -- In order to join global and regional economic integration, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is drafting the roadmap for economic cooperation agreement (ECA), which will embrace the strategy of "simultaneous promotion, multiple contact, and individual consultation."

The MOEA has selected a number of countries as priority targets for the signing of ECA, including the U.S., Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, European Union, India, and Indonesia.

In the face of the era of free trade agreement worldwide, the MOEA puts forth for the first time the overall target and strategy for Taiwan to join regional economic integration. Shih Yen-shiang, economics minister, pointed out yesterday (July 4) that the signing of ECA is the lifeline of Taiwan. The program needs effort in the medium and long term, although the MOEA will also strive to achieve some result in the short term. The MOEA will select Taiwan's major trade partners as priority targets for the signing of ECA.

The MOEA's ECA roadmap is patterned after the "FTA roadmap," formulated by South Korea in 2003. The MOEA will formulate the principle for screening targets for the signing of ECA, select priority targets, and steadily push bilateral ECA.

Insiders revealed that follow-up talks for cross-Taiwan Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will be priority task for the external trade talk of MOEA. Subsequently, the MOEA will push the signing of ECA with other trade partners, including the U.S., Japan, Singapore, and New Zealand. Presently, the U.S. is inclined to have Taiwan join trans-Pacific Partner (TPP) agreement, which now has nine members and will see its membership expand to 12, after incorporating Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Successful participation in TPP will enable Taiwan to establish close trade link with many trade partners in one fell swoop.

The MOEA will also consult with European Union, India, and Indonesia for the signing of ECA. Think tanks of Taiwan and India have started study of the economic benefits of ECA for both parties.

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Title Annotation:Ministry of Economic Affairs
Author:Liu, Philip
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Jul 5, 2012
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