Taiwan is committed to joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Jan. 24, adding that the government is advancing broad economic reforms to prepare for the accession bid.
According to the MOFA, related ministries and agencies are in the process of researching and implementing wide-ranging adjustments to Taiwan’s economic and trade policies and industrial structure. The government is also communicating with CPTPP members on these efforts so as to foster awareness of the benefits of including Taiwan in the second round of accession talks, the ministry said.
The MOFA statement followed the announcement by the 11 CPTPP members at the conclusion of talks in Tokyo Jan. 23 that the new Asia-Pacific trade pact will be signed in March in Chile. The ministry congratulated the participants for sealing the agreement, adding that this multilateral framework will inject fresh momentum into regional economic integration.
Founding CPTPP members comprise Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Their combined gross domestic product amounts to US$10.2 trillion, or some 13.6 percent of global GDP.
Taiwan’s trade with the 11 CPTPP members reached US$128.99 billion in 2016, or 25.25 percent of the country’s total, according to the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In view of the scale of these trade exchanges as well as the country’s close and long-standing economic ties with participants, Taiwan’s inclusion in the agreement would offer significant benefits for all parties and provide a major boost to regional economic integration, the MOFA said.
As a staunch advocate of trade liberalization, the MOFA said, Taiwan will continue to pursue bilateral and multilateral agreements as well as participate in World Trade Organization events. (KWS-E)