Taipei, Manila to renew investment guarantee pact soon: vice minister

2017/10/11 19:10:00 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花, right)

Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花, right)

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) The Philippines is likely to be the first of six Southeast Asian countries to renew a bilateral investment guarantee agreement with Taiwan, as the negotiations are on track to be completed by December, Taiwan's Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said Wednesday.

Similar agreements with Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia are expected to be renewed under Taiwan's New Southbound Policy to achieve enhanced cooperation, but the pace of negotiations is slower than with the Philippines, Wang said at the Yushan Forum in Taipei.

Taiwan signed the agreements with the six countries in the 1990s but is seeking to renew them to forge closer business ties and better protect Taiwanese investments in those countries.

Given the Philippines' proactive approach to trade and investment cooperation with Taiwan, Wang said, she was optimistic about completing the talks on renewing that bilateral investment guarantee agreement by December.

Wang made the projection after former Philippine Vice President Teofisto Guingona said at the forum that his country should forge closer cooperative ties with Taiwan in a wide range of areas to "build the economic and social life for a better world, for continued happiness."

The forum opened in Taipei on Wednesday, gathering government officials and business leaders from the New Southbound Policy target countries to discuss the direction and actions for closer cooperation with Taiwan.

Wang said the New Southbound Policy aims not only to establish and upgrade free trade agreements with the target countries but also to build exchanges and substantive partnerships with them in the areas of agriculture, medical health and the cultivation of talent.

The policy is aimed at enhancing Taiwan's relations with countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Evelyn Kao)

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