John Kerry and Vincent Siew Discuss Bilateral Relations at APEC

October 7, 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Taiwan's former vice president Vincent Siew at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali, Indonesia on October 6. The two discussed the bilateral trade and investment relationship, and steps that both the US and Taiwan are currently taking to advance substantive bilateral relations.

As bilateral trade and investment talks have resumed under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) this past spring, Kerry highlighted the progress that has been made under the talks, and emphasized the importance of trade liberalization for Taiwan’s economic future. Siew also called for the signing of a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and the US, and underlined Taiwan's desire and preparations to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional free trade agreement that is undergoing negotiations between 12 countries in the Asia Pacific.

Kerry also expressed support for Taipei's bids to "meaningful participation in inetrnational organizations," including Taiwan's most recent guest participation at the 38th International Civil Aviation Organizatio (ICAO) Assembly in Montreal. Congress passed a resolution in June supporting Taiwan's participation as a guest to the organization.

Kerry also praised Taiwan's contribution and leadership in small and medium enterprises, women’s empowerment and bridging the digital divide in APEC, and thanked Taiwan for co-sponsoring a new mechanism with the United States to remove supply chain chokepoints and enhance regional connectivity.

Former vice president Siew attended the APEC summit on behalf of President Ma Ying-jeou, while Secretary Kerry represented President Obama.