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President Tsai makes pitch for Taiwan-U.S. trade agreement

ROC Central News Agency

08/18/2020 07:07 PM

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday that a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) between Taiwan and the United States would be mutually beneficial and would help to strengthen their existing trade and business exchanges.

In a meeting with the top executives of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham Taipei), Tsai said the Taiwan-U.S. partnership continues to deepen, as evidenced by the signing of their first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation and the launch of the Taiwan-U.S. Business Alliance earlier this month.

During the meeting at the Presidential Office, Tsai congratulated C.W. Chin (金奇偉) on assuming the position of AmCham Taipei chairman in January and said she was pleased to see the chamber join the new Taiwan-U.S. Business Alliance.

"With this exchange platform, we will be able to better utilize national resources to serve industries in both countries, and I am delighted that AmCham Taipei has also joined this initiative," Tsai said.

AmCham Taipei has also taken a keen interest in the progress of a Taiwan-U.S. BTA and has been pushing for the U.S. government to quicken its pace on such an agreement, Tsai said, expressing thanks to Chin and Amcham Taipei President William Foreman for the chamber's efforts.

Tsai said the establishment of a BTA would help build stronger trade and business exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan.

"I firmly believe that with a BTA, Taiwan and the United States would be able to capitalize on the complementarity of our industries," she said. "Enhancing economic and trade exchanges between Taiwan and the United States would also create more business opportunities, benefiting both sides."

Since the start of the year, Taiwan has been facing stiff challenges, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and significant changes in the global economic order, Tsai said, thanking Amcham Taipei for recognizing Taiwan's pandemic prevention efforts and for offering several economic and trade policy recommendations in its annual Taiwan White Paper in June.

Taiwan has done a lot in recent years to improve its investment environment, Tsai said, adding that she agreed with Chin that Taiwan can leverage its pandemic prevention success to promote its business and investment environment.

"Over the past few years, Taiwan has made considerable improvements in this area," Tsai said. "The U.S.-China trade conflict and the latest developments in Hong Kong have created new challenges and opportunities for Taiwan's industries. We have set a goal of transforming Taiwan into Asia's center for enterprise capital management and high-end asset management."

As part of a broader plan, Taiwan is also working to boost its Six Core Strategic Industries including the ICT, digital, biotechnology, and medical technology industries, and has established a Talent Circulation Alliance, Tsai said.

"These will help Taiwan become a critical force in the global economy and the U.S.' most reliable ally in Asia, as the United States faces the realignment of global supply chains," she said.

(By Wen Kuei-hsinag and Evelyn Kao)

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