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Taiwan, Philippines ink letters of intent to expand trade cooperation

2012/08/17 23:28:54

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) Taiwan and the Philippines signed five letters of intent Friday at a just concluded trade meeting in Taipei to expand economic cooperation in a wide range of areas.

The two sides agreed to cooperate on expediting customs clearance, certifying merchandise, boosting the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises and using technology to add value to products, said Huang Shih-chou, a spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs' international cooperation arm.

The joint effort to create added value could help Taiwan's sagging exports, Huang said. The country's exports posted negative year-on-year growth in July for the fifth consecutive month, falling 11.6 percent to US$24.8 billion.

At the meeting, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang and Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory L. Domingo of the Philippines also agreed to promote cooperation between the economic zones in the Southeast Asian country and Taiwan's export processing zones.

Huang called for Taiwan and the Philippines to work together as free trade zones, which he believed would facilitate the exchange of people and goods and help Taiwan tap into the ASEAN market.

Meanwhile, the two sides also exchanged views on promoting ecotourism, developing Taiwan's geothermal energy and cooperating in safeguarding intellectual property rights.

The next bilateral meeting is scheduled to take place in Manila in 2013.

(By Lin Meng-ju and Scully Hsiao)