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Taiwan holds trade symposium in effort to increase trade with Central, South American allies

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Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2022. 11:39 am CST.

Photo Credit: MOFA

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Taiwan held a trade symposium on Wednesday in an effort to increase trade with Central and South American allies.

According to Taiwan News, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Importers & Exporters Association of Taipei on Wednesday hosted the 2022 Central and South America Trade Promotion and Market Opportunity Symposium with the objective of promoting Taiwanese investments in the region.

Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yui said that the symposium held under the Central and South America Import Promotion Project had the objective of enticing Taiwanese businesses to take advantage of trade and investment opportunities that it allies provide. He said that Taiwanese businesses ought to take advantage of free trade agreements (FTA) and economic cooperation agreements (ECA) that already exist with these countries, including Belize.

Yui said Taiwan’s Central and South American allies, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay, “have gone to great lengths to support Taiwan in the international arena” and that Taiwan is reciprocating by promoting industrial development and transformation in these countries.

According to Taiwan News, Belize’s Ambassador to Taiwan Dr. Candice Pitts said that it is “high time to augment commercial activities between Belize and Taiwan.”

Dr Pitts said that the Economic Trade Agreement went into effect in January 2022 and since then several Belizean exporters and suppliers have shown interest in increasing and diversifying exports to Taiwan, including rum, lobster, shrimp, beef, and beans.

Ambassador Pitts said the Belizean embassy is helping to facilitate the Belize Agricultural Health Authority in applying to have more Belize products approved for export by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration.

Belize’s exports to Taiwan include shrimps, pepper sauce, and beef.

According to Taiwan Deputy Foreign Minister Yui, Taiwan’s exports to Belize rose by 81 percent in 2021. Exports to Guatemala rose by 81 percent and to Honduras by 18 percent.

Lui said Taiwan’s Central and South American diplomatic allies produce high-quality agricultural and aquaculture products that can be processed further by Taiwan’s food processing technologies and capacity. He added that the allies can use Taiwan to penetrate other lucrative Asian markets.

Chung Hua Institution for Economic Research Deputy CEO Li Chun said Belize and the other countries that have ECAs and FTAs with Taiwan can benefit from lowered tariffs on imported and exported products.

Chun said Belize could export more frozen shrimp, sauces, ice cream, lobsters, and agricultural products and could import Taiwan-made watersport equipment, vehicle rearview mirrors, and cassava products.

While the ECA between Belize and Taiwan just came into effect, Taiwan entered an ECA with Paraguay in 2018, while its FTA with Honduras and Guatemala have been in effect since 2008 and 2006, respectively.

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