Economics minister readies for APEC ministers trade meeting
Central News Agency
2014-05-10 10:40 PM
Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch will lead a delegation to the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers meeting in Qingdao, China on May 17-18. Chang is expected to meet Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng on the sidelines of the conference, and a major focal point will be whether the two talk about the status of bilateral agreements on trade in services and goods on the occasion. A bilateral trade-in-services agreement was signed in June 2013 but has yet to be approved by Taiwan's Legislative Yuan because of fierce opposition from critics who say the pact favors China and will give Beijing a firmer hold on Taiwan's economy. Because of the delay, China has notified Taiwan that the latest round of negotiations on a merchandise trade pact scheduled to take place this month has been pushed back, Chang said. Chang did not say if the issue will be discussed during his highly anticipated meeting with Gao. The theme of this year's APEC trade ministers is "Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership," and will focus on regional economic integration, innovative development, reform and economic growth, and connectivity. Economic integration is particularly important to Taiwan, and the topics to be addressed include launching a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), supporting a multilateral trade system, and combating anti-trade protectionism. Chang is scheduled to depart on May 16 and return to Taiwan on May 19. (By Huang Chia-wen and Evelyn Kao)
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