Taiwan set to host 18 APEC events in 2013

Taiwan will step up its participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum this year by hosting 18 APEC meetings, seminars and training sessions on a wide range of issues, according to the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Feb. 21.

“As a responsible stakeholder, Taiwan is committed to strengthening its contribution to APEC,” said Hsieh Wu-chiao, director-general of the MOFA Department of International Organizations.

“MOFA is working closely with relevant ministries for the smooth implementation of the events,” Hsieh added. “We will also continue deepening bilateral and multilateral relationships with other APEC member states for mutual benefit.”

According to Hsieh, topics to be covered at the events include geothermal energy, female entrepreneurship, nuclear safety, pharmaceutical affairs management, public health emergency response mechanisms and typhoon research.

Hsieh’s statements came during a news conference in Taipei, where he reported on Taiwan’s participation in this year’s first APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting and SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation, which took place Jan. 24 to Feb. 7 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Led by Hsieh and Chang Chun-fu, director-general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Taiwan delegation responded positively to the three priority issues on this year’s APEC agenda: Attaining the Bogor Goals, Achieving Sustainable Growth with Equality and Promoting Connectivity.

“We also reaffirmed Taiwan’s determination to expand its role in APEC and take part in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Hsieh said.

The RCEP is a regional free trade area under negotiation among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and countries with free trade agreements with them.

The TPP is a similar deal among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the U.S. Other nations such as Japan and South Korea are also looking to join discussions on the nascent pact.

During the meetings’ run, the delegation also proposed three initiatives seeking to accelerate the establishment of small and medium enterprises, promote innovative economic development for women, and strengthen public-private partnerships to reduce damage in the food supply chain.

“We look forward to collaborating with other APEC members on these issues, and will leave no stone unturned seeking business opportunities for Taiwan firms in the process,” Hsieh said.

Meg Chang

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