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TRADE DEALS/Taiwan holds first Canadian seminars outside capital to promote CPTPP bid

04/30/2024 03:30 PM
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Photo courtesy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada April 25, 2024
Photo courtesy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada April 25, 2024

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) Taiwan's government held two rounds of seminars in Canada last week as part of its bid to join a regional trade bloc of which the North American country is a member, a senior Taiwanese diplomat said Tuesday.

The two seminars were held on April 24 in Calgary, the largest city in the province of Alberta, and on April 26 in Vancouver, the most populous city in British Columbia, Lien Yu-ping (連玉蘋), head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs, said.

These events marked the first time such promotional events were held in Canada outside the capital, Ottawa.

The Calgary event, "Canada-Taiwan Economic Cooperation: Opportunities for Western Canada," was hosted by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) and co-organized by Taiwan's representative office in Canada, the MOFA official said.

Ken Hardie, Chair of the Canada-China Relations Special Committee of the Canadian House of Commons, and Christy Clark, former Premier of British Columbia, noted that Taiwan was a reliable partner and pointed out its adherence to high trade standards during the April 24 event, according to a representative office press release.

Meanwhile, the second seminar titled "Bridging Economies: Exploring Canadian - Taiwanese Trade Ventures," was hosted by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, according to Lien.

The two events were the first two relating to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)Taiwan has arranged in Canada that were held outside the capital.

Photo courtesy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada April 25, 2024
Photo courtesy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada April 25, 2024

Lien also said Taiwan would continue to pitch to every CPTPP member that its accession would enhance supply chain resilience and be beneficial for global economic security.

The MOFA official has repeatedly said the government believes 2024 could be crucial for Taiwan's bid because Canada is the CPTPP Commission chair this year.

She said that will offer a "window of opportunity" for Taiwan's potential accession because of the democratic values shared by Canada and Taiwan and their robust trade and economic ties.

All decisions made by the Commission or Accession Working Group are made by consensus agreement among the CPTPP members, per the official Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans‐Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Accession Process.

Taiwan officially applied to join the CPTPP on Sept. 22, 2021, less than a week after China also applied for membership, but little headway has been made on its bid since then.

The CPTPP, which grew out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that the United States left in January 2017, is one of the world's biggest trade blocs, representing a market of 500 million people and accounting for 13.5 percent of global trade.

Its 11 signatories are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The United Kingdom formally signed the trade agreement on July 16, 2023, and is expected to formally join by the end of 2024.

Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Ukraine have also applied to join the trade bloc.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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