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Joining TPP an urgent issue for Taiwan: ex-vice president
Central News Agency
2013-12-04 02:49 PM
Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an "urgent" issue for Taiwan because Taiwan's economy will face more difficulties if it cannot join the regional trade bloc, former Vice President Vincent Siew said Wednesday. The trade volume between Taiwan and the 12 countries currently negotiating the TPP accounts for a significant share of Taiwan's total foreign trade, he said at the launch ceremony of the Association of Foreign Relations, a non-profit organization aimed at promoting Taiwan's relations with other countries. "Joining the TPP is an urgent, important issue," said Siew, considered to be an expert on the economy. If Taiwan cannot participate in the TPP, the country's economy will face major struggles when the partnership takes effect in the coming years, he added. The TPP is a potential free trade bloc being negotiated by the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations -- Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei. President Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly said Taiwan hopes to join the TPP within eight years. Siew will serve as the honorary chairman of the Association of Foreign Relations, an organization comprising retired diplomats, scholars and business representatives. Former Foreign Minister Francisco Ou is the association's chairman. The ceremony was also attended by Vice President Wu Den-yih and Foreign Minister David Lin, who expressed hopes that the association can help promote Taiwan's foreign relations alongside the government. (By Elaine Hou)
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