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U.S. State Department official to visit Taiwan to discuss trade issues

U.S. State Department official to visit Taiwan to discuss trade issues

Taipei, Nov. 18 (CNA) A U.S. Department of State official on economic and business affairs is set to visit Taiwan to discuss issues relating to bilateral trade and investment, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said Tuesday. Kurt Tong, principal deputy assistant secretary for the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, is scheduled to visit Taiwan Nov. 19-21, said AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties. This will be Tong's first trip to Taiwan since he assumed his post in July, AIT said in a statement. During his visit, he will deliver a keynote speech at a private equity forum organized by the Asian Venture Capital Journal Nov. 20 in Taipei, and will also participate in a panel discussion on innovation at an event that same day organized by AIT and Taiwan's National Development Council, the statement said. Tong will also meet with Taiwanese political, business and academic figures to discuss trade, investment and commercial matters of mutual concern, AIT said. Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the visit will "help both countries continue to bolster bilateral trade relations." Before joining the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, Tong served for three years as deputy chief of the U.S. Mission in Tokyo. Prior to his time in Japan, he was the U.S. ambassador to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Tong has been an economic affairs diplomat for the State Department since 1990. His previous posts include service as director for Asian Economic Affairs at the National Security Council from 2006 to 2008 and as economic minister-counselor in South Korea from 2003 to 2006. (By Elaine Hou)