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Taiwan confident about TPP membership

Taipei / DPA

Taiwan is confident that it will be accepted into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade bloc, a minister-designate who will be in charge of trade talks for the incoming government said yesterday. Shih Jun-ji, who has been named as a minister without portfolio of the incoming Cabinet, said the TPP membership will not be the only task facing the new government as far as trade talks are
concerned.
Taiwan will also seek to enter other regional trade organisations, and sign other bilateral free trade pacts, said Shih.
The remarks come in the wake of pessimism expressed by Hsu Hsin-liang, a former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, who has predicted that the TPP will collapse, judging from the major US presidential candidates’ positions against the trade bloc.
But an unnamed official from Taiwan’s economics ministry remains optimistic, saying the US government will eventually embrace the TPP although it may take more time for it to reach the trade agreement, according to the United Evening News.
Shih said Taiwan can definitely join the TPP, as some other Asian countries, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, have already entered the bloc.
He said all Taiwan needs is determination to overcome difficulties, such as the rewriting of laws to put Taiwan in line with TPP requirements, such as those for intellectual property rights and the pharmaceutical industry.
He said Taiwan will stand a good chance of joining TPP when the trade bloc expands its memberships a year or two from now.
The government has almost completed a list of laws that will have to be revamped for the TPP cause. The review of the list will be finished this month, and will serve as a reference of the new government.

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