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Taiwan wants better economic cooperation with the Philippines

Staff writer |
Taiwan plans a new economic cooperation agreement with the Philippines after its new president Tsai Ing-Wen declared a New Southbound Policy that seeks stronger ties with countries of Southeast Asia.

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Gary Song-Huann Lin, representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines, in his speech at the launch of the Taiwan Excellence campaign at the Fairmont Hotel, said the Philippines has been identified as one of the most important countries set for stronger cooperation on tourism, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, small and medium enterprises, information and communication technology, climate change and green technologies”.

“We would like to discuss an ECA with the Philippines... then we can have more Filipinos work in Taiwan, more exports (from the Philippines) like bananas, mangoes, pineapples, handicraft and even seafood,” he said.

Lin added the signing of the ECA will also benefit Taiwan as it would open up investments in economic zone corridors.

He said an earlier proposal for the Subic-Kaohsiung corridor would just be one of the components of the ECA.

Lin said there is no timeline as to when the discussions would start as the Philippines is preoccupied with other free trade agreements (FTA), such as the recently-concluded FTA with the European Free Trade Association.

He said a feasibility study is underway to determine which sectors should be focused on under the ECA.

Lin said relations between Taiwan and Philippines have fully recovered from the hostilities that arose following the accidental killing of a Taiwanese fisherman in the Balintang Channel, with tourism, trade and investments picking up after the 2013 incident.

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