Honduras notifies Taiwan DPP authorities of end to FTA
Published: Jun 16, 2023 01:14 AM
Shrimps ready for exportation in Choluteca, Honduras on April 4, 2023 Photo: VCG

Shrimps ready for exportation in Choluteca, Honduras on April 4, 2023 Photo: VCG

Honduras has officially notified the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in the island of Taiwan that it will end a free trade agreement (FTA) with the island in six months, according to media reports on Thursday.

The reports come as China and Honduras have strengthened technical consultations on relevant work for a potential FTA, following the historic visit of Honduras' President Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento to China this week, less than three months after the two countries established diplomatic ties in March.

The Honduran permanent mission to the WTO sent an email to the DPP authorities saying that Honduras will withdraw from the FTA in 180 days, according to various media reports in the Taiwan region.

The FTA was signed in 2007. Honduras severed so-called "diplomatic ties" with the island of Taiwan in March. DPP authorities have slammed the move and claimed that the FTA had been much more beneficial to Honduras than to the island, according to media reports.

Honduras' move to end the FTA with the island comes as preparation for negotiations on an FTA with the Chinese mainland is underway, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.

"At present, the Ministry of Commerce of China is working with the competent authorities of the Honduran side to earnestly implement the important consensus of the two heads of state, strengthen technical communication on the work related to the FTA, and strive to start the process of negotiating the FTA as soon as possible," Shu Jueting, a spokesperson for the ministry, said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Shu further stated that the Chinese side stands ready to take this opportunity to carry out institutional dialogue, tap the potential of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and promote China-Hong Kong economic and trade cooperation to a new level.

During the Honduran president's visit, the two sides reached a consensus on negotiating an FTA and promoting practical cooperation in various fields. They also signed a series of bilateral cooperation documents, including on jointly constructing the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Moreover, Chinese officials also moved swiftly in allowing certain Honduran products to be exported to the Chinese market.

On Monday, the two countries signed a document to allow the entry into the Chinese market of Honduras' South American whiteleg shrimp, a major export from the country. So far, China has given the green light to nine aquatic products enterprises from Honduras to register in China and carry out trade, according to the customs.

Global Times