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 December 09 2013


The Taipei-Manila ECA study hopes to have a smooth process that allows goods to move freely and have more access to the Philippines as well as the ASEAN markets.
 
Mr. Antonio I. Basilio, Director and Resident Representative, Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), Philippine Representative Office of Taiwan

Mr. Antonio Basilio, the resident representative of the of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan, recently announced that a feasibility study on signing an Economic Cooperation Agreement between Taiwan and the Philippines is almost complete.

According to the China Post, Basilio said the next step is for the Philippine government to hold consultations with related stakeholders including the Philippines’ business communities and legislature. Basilio added that researchers and businessmen from Taiwan will be invited to meet with their counterparts from the Philippines for a workshop which he hopes could be held before June 2014. The Philippine envoy also disclosed that Taipei and Manila are currently in talks to expand the coverage of a Kaoshiung-Subic/Bay-Clark economic corridor.

In 2005, Taiwan and the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the economic corridor, aimed at helping Taiwanese companies make headway in the ASEAN market. Basilio said that since there were some issues before that were not resolved when the MOU expired, they are now negotiating a new one to expand the coverage of the economic corridor. The objective is to iron out the process that allows goods to move freely and have more access to the Philippines as well as to the ASEAN markets. Part of the said process is to have both sides talk about the easing out of regulations for workers and supervisors moving from Taiwan and the Philippines.

During the interview with the Central News Agency, Basilio once expressed his gratitude to Taiwan for its speedy relief efforts in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan saying that the people of Taiwan were among the first to respond to relieve the suffering of the victims of the typhoon. What was more impressive, he said, was that despite Taiwan government’s efforts to give disaster relief supplies and cash donations to the Philippines, individuals and charity organizations still made up the majority of the overall Taiwan donations. Basilio said this shows that compassion and sympathy goes very deep, not just from government, but also from the Taiwanese people. He further elaborated that the Filipinos in the typhoon-affected areas are deeply impressed by the generosity and compassion of the Taiwanese, further boosting and strengthening the friendship between the two peoples.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry revealed that public and private donors in Taiwan have offered over NT300 million in goods and aid to typhoon victims in the Philippines.

Source: Joseph Yeh, The China Post