Canada and Taiwan have successfully concluded negotiations for a bilateral agreement aimed at enhancing foreign investment. Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng and the Taiwanese government announced their commitment to ensuring the swift implementation of this accord.
Taiwan, in its pursuit of greater diplomatic and moral support from major Western democracies, including Canada, faces increasing military and political pressure from China regarding Beijing's sovereignty claims over the island. Taiwan has been actively seeking additional trade agreements with Western nations to strengthen its position on the global stage.
The Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Arrangement forms a crucial part of Canada's strategy to expand its trade and influence in the Indo-Pacific region. In 2021, trade between Canada and Taiwan amounted to C$10.2 billion, a notable increase from C$7.4 billion in 2020, according to official Canadian data. Canada's total bilateral trade with countries around the world exceeds C$1.5 trillion.
Taiwan's government warmly welcomed this development. The Office of Trade Negotiations in Taiwan stated that the agreement would be formally signed once the necessary administrative procedures, including legal reviews of the text, are completed.
Taiwan's chief trade negotiator, John Deng, expressed optimism about signing the deal as expeditiously as possible, with the aim of finalizing it before the end of the year. Deng emphasized that this agreement would bolster Taipei's efforts to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a significant pan-Pacific free trade pact.
Canada is set to assume the rotating chair of the CPTPP in the upcoming year, and China has also expressed interest in becoming a member of this grouping. Taiwan has been actively lobbying CPTPP members, including Canada, to support its application. Taiwan underscores its commitment to transparency and the rule of law in its own economy and in its business dealings with other nations, differentiating itself from Beijing in this regard.
It is worth noting that Canada, like most countries, does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Nevertheless, both entities maintain de facto embassies in each other's capitals.
The Chinese embassy in Ottawa has not yet issued a response to this development. Taiwan staunchly rejects China's sovereignty claims, asserting its own democratic governance.