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Taiwan to continue promoting economic, trade liberalization: BOFT

Taiwan to continue promoting economic, trade liberalization: BOFT

Taipei, Aug. 1 (CNA) Although trade ministers in the just-concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meeting did not reach an agreement or consensus on the signing of a proposed regional trade pact, Taiwan will continue to promote economic and trade liberalization as part of its efforts to join the planned regional trade bloc, the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) said Saturday.
"We will continue to actively make preparations for the participation of our country in the TPP," BOFT said in a statement, adding that related governmental agencies will continue to observe the future developments of the issue closely.
Based on the free trade agreement signed between South Korea and the United States, Taiwan has been making preparations for joining the TPP since last year. "We are hoping to be able to join the second round of the TPP negotiations," the BOFT added.
Over the past year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and other related governmental agencies have held some 130 meetings with different industrial organizations and trade unions at the national and local levels on Taiwan's participation in the TPP, aimed at hearing their opinions on the issue, the BOFT indicated, reiterating that the government will continue to do so in a more active manner, in order to make the general public more aware of the importance of the issue for Taiwan.
In addition, the MOEA has been organizing activities in senior high school campuses around Taiwan for the first time this year, with the goal of educating Taiwanese youth about the current state of regional economic integration.
After concluding the TPP ministerial meeting held July 28-31 in Maui, Hawaii, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said that the negotiators will continue to engage extensively, admitting however that the next ministerial meeting has not yet been set.
The TPP is a proposed trade agreement between several Pacific Rim countries with the goal of enhancing trade and investment among the TPP partner countries. A total of 12 countries are now participating in the negotiations over the signing of the proposed agreement initiated by the U.S., including Brunei, Chile, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and the U.S. (By Chen Cheng-wei and Romulo Huang)