Taipei, March 16 (CNA) Taiwan and the United States could soon conclude talks on five of the 12 areas being negotiated under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade launched in June 2022, as the two sides have begun discussing written rules in these areas, a Cabinet official said in Taipei on Thursday.
The statement was made after Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations released details of the bilateral talks that day, while the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published summaries of text proposed by Washington during the first negotiating round held in Taipei in January.
According to Taiwan’s trade office, both sides have made good progress in the areas of customs administration and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, services domestic regulation, anti-corruption, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Taiwan is seeking to help SMEs enter the global market through the trade initiative, since 99 percent of businesses in Taiwan are SMEs, but their exports only account for 26 percent of their revenues, Taiwan’s trade office said in its statement.
The progress made regarding service sector regulations will allow easier access to the American market, as Taiwan pursues a more transparent and objective regulatory process for local companies, some of which have faced time consuming and uncertain applications for licenses or documents, according to the statement.
However, there will be a different set of rules for the highly regulated financial sector, Taiwan’s trade office said.
Meanwhile, both Taiwan and the U.S. mentioned in their statements the establishment of a committee for issues of customs administration, trade felicitation, or good regulatory practices.
The two countries said in their respective press releases that they agreed to follow the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement.
The trade office in Taipei said the government will continue discussions with local individuals, groups and business on the final text for the five issues, and other issues set out in the mandate published in August 2022.