Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Taiwan To Sign Free Trade Pact With Nicaragua

Taipei, June 14 by Sofia Wu, CNA

Taiwan will sign a free trade agreement with Nicaragua June 16 to further boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation, government officials said Wednesday.

Minister of Economic Affairs Hwang Ing-san and his Nicaraguan counterpart, Alejandro Jose Arguello Choiseul, will sign the agreement in Taipei on behalf of their governments. Arguello will travel to Taipei for the event.

The new agreement is set to take effect at the beginning of next year, the officials said.

The two countries completed free trade pact negotiations earlier this year. Nicaragua, one of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Central America, will be the third country to sign a free trade accord with Taiwan, after Panama and Guatemala.

Two-way trade between the two countries totaled US$46.27 million in 2005, marking a 5.2 percent year-on-year growth and leaving a US$33.06 million trade surplus in Taiwan's favor.

Major Taiwan exports include textiles, kitchenware and plastic products, while imports from Nicaragua include frozen beef, coffee, timber and scrap metals.

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