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Taipei, March 2 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday expressed hope that Canada would support Taiwan’s bid to join a cross-national trade pact, during a meeting with the country’s representative to Taiwan Jim Nickel.
Taiwan’s ascension to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would allow Taiwan and Canada to work together to promote economic prosperity, as the two nations have complementary economies, Tsai said.
Taiwan applied in September 2021 to join the CPTPP, which is one of the world’s biggest trade blocs, representing a market of 500 million people and accounting for 13.5 percent of global trade.
Any new ascension to the trade pact requires the unanimous support of its signatories, which currently include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Hence, the government is keen to join the trade bloc ahead of China, which submitted its CPTPP application less than a week prior to Taiwan, to avoid a situation where Beijing could veto Taiwan’s ascension.
Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations said in January that the government would seek the approval of the CPTPP’s member states to establish “a working group” in 2023 to review Taiwan’s application.
The trade bloc’s commission is currently in negotiations with the United Kingdom, which submitted a formal request to join the trade bloc in February 2021.
Meanwhile, Tsai expressed hope that Taiwan and Canada would further broaden bilateral collaboration with the help of Nickel, who took up the post of executive director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei last September.
In his remarks, Nickel did not touch upon the topic of the CPTPP, according to a press release issued by the Presidential Office after the meeting,
The representative expressed hope that Canada could further deepen its trade and economic partnerships with Taiwan, especially in the areas of supply chain security, net-zero emissions, and digital transition.
At the same time, Nickel went on, Canada looked forward to strengthening its people-to-people ties with Taiwan through cultural, educational and parliamentary exchanges.