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TRADE DEALS/Taiwan, Canada sign investment deal

12/22/2023 06:29 PM
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Taiwanese and Canadian officials pose for a group photo at the signing ceremony in Taipei Friday. Photo courtesy of Office of Trade Negotiations Dec. 22, 2023
Taiwanese and Canadian officials pose for a group photo at the signing ceremony in Taipei Friday. Photo courtesy of Office of Trade Negotiations Dec. 22, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 22 (CNA) An agreement between Taiwan and Canada on promoting two-way trade and investment was inked in Taipei on Friday, about two months after the two sides completed negotiations, according to Taiwan's Office of Trade Negotiations.

The investment promotion and protection arrangement (FIPA) will "further enhance the bilateral investment environment" for companies from both sides, the office said in a press release issued after the signing ceremony.

The office said it would continue deepening economic and trade links with both the United States and Canada and help expand the access of Taiwanese enterprises to the North American market, which covers a population of up to 500 million.

Meanwhile, the Canadian representative to Taiwan Jim Nickel said during the ceremony that the signed agreement marked a decade of dedicated work by Taiwan and Canada, according to the press release.

Taipei and Ottawa announced in February that they would begin formal negotiations for a FIPA to spur bilateral trade and investment, about eight months after "exploratory" talks on the issue came to an end.

Nickel, executive director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, was cited as saying he looked forward to seeing closer trade and investment relations between the two sides.

According to Nickel, whose office represents Ottawa's interests in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, the FIPA with Taiwan is first such pact Canada agreed to after updating its foreign investment promotion and protection agreement model in 2021.

The office has yet to disclose the full text of the FIPA, which it previously said comprises over 70 articles and appendices.

Press materials provided by the office indicate the agreement incorporates comprehensive investment protection norms and restricts the host country from imposing additional investment restrictions beyond what has been mutually agreed upon.

Meanwhile, the FIPA also allows the host country to retain the right to regulate trade in accordance with its domestic policy objectives, while recognizing values such as corporate social responsibility, cultural diversity, environmental protection, gender equality, labor rights and inclusive growth.

The agreement was signed by Nickel and Taiwan's representative to Canada Harry Tseng (曾厚仁) on behalf of their respective governments, the press release said.

The office added it believes the FIPA will demonstrate Taiwan's commitment to high-standard trade regulations to members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Taiwan applied on Sept. 22, 2021 to join the CPTPP, an economic bloc representing 500 million consumers and 13.5 percent of global GDP.

However, a decision by the CPTPP Commission on whether to initiate negotiations with Taiwan has yet to be made.

(By Joy Tseng and Teng Pei-ju)


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