Taiwan to sign trade agreement with New Zealand

Taiwan and New Zealand will sign an economic cooperation agreement today in Wellington, removing much of trade tariffs between the two nations. A press conference will be held in Taipei at the same time in GIS MOTC Convention Center 集思交通部國際會議中心. Negotiation began in May 2012, followed by studies conducted by both sides on the benefits of such agreement. The agreement is officially between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, the name used by Taiwan in the World Trade Organization, as New Zealand maintains diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and is careful to not to appear to recognize the sovereignty of Taiwan. The full title of the agreement is the “Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation 紐西蘭與臺、澎、金、馬個別關稅領域經濟合作協定” (ANZTEC 臺紐經濟合作協定). Visit the website of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs 經濟部 or the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office to see the actual text of the agreement.

This is the first trade agreement Taiwan signs with a country with which it does not maintain formal diplomatic relations. Taiwan has signed free trade agreements with Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, which together account for less than one percent of Taiwan’s external trade. Taiwan is New Zealand’s 12th largest export market and 15th largest source of import. New Zealand currently maintains the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office 紐西蘭商工辦事處 in Taipei to represent its interests in Taiwan. Currently citizens of the two nations can visit the other nation without a visa and stay up to 90 days. China Airlines 中華航空 currently operates flight from Taipei to Auckland via Brisbane, Australia.

Negotiation on a similar agreement between Taiwan and Singapore was concluded in May 2013, and both sides are in the process of legal scrubbing.

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