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Visiting Canadian lawmaker backs Taiwan's CPTPP bid

2022-10-12
Focus Taiwan
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President Tsai Ing-wen (right) meets with Canadian parliamentarian Judy Sgro at the Presidential Office on Tuesday.
President Tsai Ing-wen (right) meets with Canadian parliamentarian Judy Sgro at the Presidential Office on Tuesday.

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) Canadian parliamentarian Judy Sgro, who is on a six-day visit to Taiwan, expressed her support for Taiwan's bid to join a transnational trade pact during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday.

"Taiwan in my opinion has sought and demonstrated a very solid record on complying with the CPTPP," Sgro said, referring to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"And we hope as a parliamentary friendship group, and I believe most of the parliamentarians in Canada hope, that [Taiwan's] accession to the CPTPP will happen sooner than later," said Sgro, who currently serves as chairwoman of the Standing Committee on International Trade.

The CPTPP, which grew out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the United States left that pact in January 2017, is one of the world's biggest trade blocs, representing a market of 500 million people and accounting for 13.5 percent of global trade.

Any new entry in the CPTPP requires the unanimous support of the bloc's 11 signatories -- Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Taiwan applied to join the CPTPP on Sept. 22, 2021, less than a week after China submitted its application.

According to Taiwan's top trade negotiator John Deng (鄧振中), those bids may be in limbo right now.

In a radio interview in June, he said the bloc's members were still handling the United Kingdom's bid and that Taiwan "will have to to wait" until its application can be handled.

He estimated that the U.K.'s application could be wrapped up later this year or next year.

Sgro, who also heads the Canada-Taiwan parliamentary friendship group, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday with a delegation that includes House of Commons members Angelo Iacono, Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay, Richard Martel, and Chris Lewis.

Describing Taiwan as "an important stakeholder for Canada" and "a valuable partner for the world," Sgro also expressed support for the investment talks that were started between Taiwan and Canada earlier this year.

Exploratory discussions on a possible foreign investment promotion and protection arrangement (FIPA) were launched after Deng and Mary Ng, Canada's minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, held a virtual meeting in January.

"My understanding is that things have continued to progress very well," Sgro said of the bilateral talks.

"It would be a wonderful opportunity for Canada and Taiwan businesses to have that kind of an investment opportunity there for both of our countries to move forward, and to build," she said.

Meanwhile, Tsai said her government looked forward to "hearing good news" on the FIPA talks.

Signing a FIPA would "strengthen bilateral economic and trade links" while creating a more open, transparent and friendly investment environment for both sides, she said.

 

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