Dominican Today | Santo Domingo | 19 April 2006
Taiwan’s president touts Free Trade with Dominican Republic
TAIPEI. - Taiwan president Chen Shui-Bian said yesterday that negotiations with the Dominican Republic are advancing toward the signing of a Free Trade Agreement, in which both nations seek to establish a strategic economic and trade alliance that allows them to conquer the United States market.
Shui-Bian, speaking in the presidential palace here, said that aspects of these negotiations will be addressed during Dominican president Leonel Fernandez’s visit to Taiwan slated for next June.
Government sources here said that Fernandez’s visit to this capital is viewed with enthusiasm, with whom Shui-Bian’s government expects to discuss and sign agreements on important topics to bolster the already good relations between the two nations, and to launch strategic projects.
Dominican Republic is expected to enter the FTA that it has signed with the United States and the Central American countries, starting on July 1 and is immersed in promoting Taiwanese private investments in strategic areas of its economy, especially in a technological industrial park.
Shui-Bian stressed that his country has launched the program "Co Prosperity" in which it has allocated US$250 million for creating a fund which will benefit the Taiwanese industrialists who invest in Central America and Dominican Republic, countries with which it discusses a Free Trade Agreement individually.
In addition, he stressed Taiwan’s commitment to promote the Santo Domingo Cybernetic Park, one of the Dominican government’s top priorities and for which an agreement is expected to be signed during Fernandez’s visit.
The fund would allow Taiwan’s government to stimulate its industrialists with a participation of up to 49 percent in their proposed investment projects -until US$100 million- not just for Dominican Republic, but for the rest of the allied countries of Central America and the Caribbean, said the Information Ministry.
Dominican Republic has a highly negative trade balance with Taiwan.
The Taiwanese leader also pointed to the guarantees that Fernandez stated during an event with the Dominican diplomacy last November in Santo Domingo, that his Government will keep the privileging relations with the Republic of Taiwan. "It has been a great honor and a great satisfaction to hear President Fernandez say this."
Shui-Bian made his comments during a ceremony to decorate Dominican tycoon Jose L. (Pepín) Corripio, who received Taiwan’s highest honor, the Shining Star.