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President pledges to create conditions for Taiwan’s TPP access

Focus Taiwan News Channel, Taiwan

President pledges to create conditions for Taiwan’s TPP access

21 March 2013

By Lee Shu-hua and Y.F. Low

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday that his government will work hard to create the conditions for Taiwan to participate in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership at an appropriate time.

Taiwan would like to join the regional trade agreement, but the conditions are not yet right, Ma told a visiting delegation led by U.S.-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul Wolfowitz, who is a former U.S. deputy secretary of defense.

Ma said he was gratified to see many positive developments resulting from the latest round of Taiwan-U.S. talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, which was co-hosted by U.S. Acting Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis in Taipei on March 10.

Ma noted that besides Marantis, many high-ranking U.S. officials have visited Taiwan over the past two years, a situation that was rarely seen before.

Taiwan hopes that ties with the United States will continue to move forward through exchange of visits between officials of both countries, he said.

He said it is highly significant that Taiwan is the only non-ally to be included in the U.S. visa waiver program and the 37th country globally to do so.

Meanwhile, in a separate meeting with a delegation led by U.S.-based Applied Materials Inc. Chairman and CEO Michael Splinter, Ma reaffirmed his promise to develop Taiwan into a global innovation hub and a trade and economic center in the Asia Pacific region.

The goal was first unveiled during Ma’s first presidential campaign six years ago.

The president said the company’s decision to set up a flat-panel R&D center in the Southern Taiwan Science Park is "very sensible" and is consistent with his campaign promise.

The center, the first to be established in Asia by the company, will be opened Friday.