Monday, January 31, 2011

Talks on ECFA submission ongoing: MOEA

After weeks of asking the Straits Exchange Foundation for updates on the submission of the ECFA to the WTO, the Bureau of Foreign Trade finally responded. An expert on preferential trade agreements comments

Taipei and Beijing are still negotiating the “best timing” to submit the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) document to the WTO, government officials said.

Chang Chun-fu (張俊福), deputy director of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ (MOEA) Bureau of Foreign Trade, said both sides had translated the document into English, but had yet to decide when to notify the global trade body on the content of the pact.

“We are taking all things into consideration, but there is no time limit,” he said, adding that some countries took years to complete the process.

Earlier last week, the bureau’s ECFA Task Force told the Taipei Times it “would notify the ECFA to the WTO pursuant to the WTO’s rules and procedures,” adding that “as a usual practice, we will consult the other signatory before making any RTA [regional trade agreement] notifications.”

My article with Ko Shu-ling, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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