Taipei-Taiwan plans to raise its quota of imported beef from Paraguay from the current 10,000 tons per year, President Tsai Ing-wen (???) said at a meeting with a visiting group of Paraguayan senators Monday.
Mentioning the Taiwan-Paraguay Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) signed in July last year, Tsai said she was confident trade and economic links between the two nations will grow closer after the pact becomes effect in February.
The promises for further bilateral cooperation, which she made in a speech delivered to the Congress of Paraguay during her visit to the Latin American ally in 2016, are being carried out, Tsai said.
"Like the quota for imported beef from Paraguay, we have already raised it to 10,000 tons and this year it will increase further," the president told her guests, including Fernando Lugo, president of the Senate of Paraguay, at the Presidential Office.
Beef is one of 54 Paraguay products that Taiwan grants preferential tariff treatment in the Taiwan-Paraguay ECA. Under the accord, beef exported to Taiwan within the set quota is free of tariffs.
According to an impact assessment report on the ECA by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, 90 percent of Paraguayan exports to Taiwan were agricultural products in 2016, with nearly 80 percent being frozen boneless beef, valued at approximately US$1.6 million.
Paraguay is Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year the two countries celebrated their 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
The seven-member Paraguayan Senate delegation, headed by Lugo, arrived in Taiwan on Jan. 6 for a five-day visit at the invitation of the Republic of China (Taiwan) government.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel