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President expresses hope Canada will support Taiwan joining CPTPP

2018/01/09 23:10:27

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)/CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she hopes Canada will support Taiwan's desire to be a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and hold bilateral talks about an Investment Guarantee Agreement while receiving a group of Canadian parliamentarians Tuesday.

The visiting delegation was headed by House of Commons MP Robert Nault, who is also chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Taiwan and Canada share many things in common, including the value of democracy and freedom and a diverse ethnic culture, said Tsai as she explained how over the past few years, both governments have achieved major milestones in terms of reconciliation with their respective indigenous peoples.

Taiwan is just like Canada in that both countries are trying their best to balance economic development with environmental sustainability, said Tsai.

Last year, Taiwan published a Voluntary National Review to demonstrate to the international community the country's determination to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, said Tsai. She also explained ongoing efforts to promote the development of the green energy industry and Taiwan's pursuit of energy transformation.

Taiwan and Canada have maintained close bilateral relations in terms of trade and investment, cultural exchanges and in other areas, said Tsai, noting that last June Air Canada resumed direct daily services between Vancouver and Taipei and Taiwan's EVA Air also increased direct flights between Toronto and Taipei.

These positive developments will further enhance tourism and business exchanges between the two countries, she added.

At present, Taiwan is Canada's 11th largest trading partner with annual bilateral trade worth US$5 billion, said Tsai as she said negotiations on an Investment Guarantee Agreement should start as soon as possible.

The president also said she hoped Canada, the second-largest economy in the CPTPP, would step up its support for Taiwan to join the proposed regional trade bloc during the second round of negotiations so the two countries can work to create regional prosperity together.

Tsai also expressed her sincere gratitude to Canada for its support of Taiwan's efforts to participate in the World Health Assembly last year and said the nation would continue to contribute its expertise and experience to the international community.

The delegation which was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Paul Chang (章文樑), Presidential Office Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and also included Canadian House of Commons MP Ed Fast, Senator Stephen Greene and Executive Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Mario Ste-Marie.

Following the United States withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Jan. 23, last year, the regional trade bloc was renamed on Nov. 10 the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The CPTPP members are Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

(By Yeh Su-ping and William Yen)