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Taiwan should be part of regional economic integration: envoy
Central News Agency
2014-04-26 10:36 AM
Taipei, April 26 (CNA) Taiwan is a key player in the global economy and should be part of the Asia-Pacific economic integration, said the Philippines' representative to Taiwan. Antonio Basilio said in an interview with CNA this week that Taiwan plays an important role "in the global value chain, particularly for IT products." "From an economic standpoint, it makes a lot of sense for Taiwan to participate in any regional economic integration, mechanisms or movement in the region," he said when asked about the Philippines' position on Taiwan's bid to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). But he added that there are political and legal issues to be addressed before Taiwan can join the RCEP, an Asia-Pacific trade bloc that is currently being negotiated. Basilio also noted that the RCEP is a consensus body, which means every participating country would have to agree on Taiwan's inclusion. On the issue of trade relations between Taiwan and the Philippines, he said the two sides have completed their feasibility studies on a bilateral economic cooperation agreement and will release the findings in November. The RCEP is being negotiated by all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The Taiwan government has repeatedly expressed its wish to join the RCEP and the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), another trade bloc in the Asia-Pacific region, to avoid being marginalized amid a trend of regional economic integration. The TPP countries account for about 35 percent of Taiwan's trade, while those in the RCEP make up about 57 percent, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. (By Elaine Hou)
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