Taiwan and Canada to hold talks on investment deal

Both governments announced on Monday that talks on an investment protection pact have begun, as part of Taiwan’s efforts to strengthen connections with fellow democracies in the face of increased pressure from Beijing. 

Taiwan has been pursuing trade agreements with countries it considers to be like-minded, such as the United States and the European Union. 

Taiwan only has free trade agreements with two large economies, Singapore and New Zealand, despite being a member of the World Trade Organization, and China has urged countries not to deal directly with the administration in Taipei. 

John Deng, the chief trade negotiator, had met virtually with Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, and the two had agreed to begin “exploratory conversations” on a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Arrangement, or FIPA. 

The move is hailed as “a watershed moment” in the country’s economic and trade relations. 

As Canada expands its commercial linkages and develops its economic partnerships in the Indo-Pacific area, the Canadian government, which, like most countries, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, sees Taiwan as significant trade and investment partner. 

The direct encounter between the two government ministers may enrage China, which has increased its efforts to isolate Taiwan as it pushes its sovereignty claims. 

Taiwan’s administration fiercely opposes China’s notion of democratically controlling Taiwan as part of its territory with no right to state-to-state relations. 

Taiwan and China have sought to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, which Canada is a member of. 

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