Mainland, Taiwan to proceed with trade talks
Updated: 2013-12-02 11:08
Taipei 101, Taiwan's landmark building.[Photo/people.com.cn]
TAIPEI - Mainland chief negotiator Chen Deming said the cross-Straits trade agreement negotiation will continue, albert the agreed service trade pact is still in deliberation by the island's legislature, when meeting with Chiang Pin-kung, the former chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) on Sunday in Taipei.
Chen, president of the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), said the cross-Straits negotiations on commodity trade agreement and trade dispute settlement mechanisms will not suspend.
Chen is currently on an eight-day visit to the island starting from Tuesday, leading a business delegation, including mainland officials, heads of industrial parks and enterprises.
He said one of the aims of their visit is to find ways to promote the follow-up negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), a comprehensive cross-Straits economic pact signed in 2010 to reduce tariffs and commercial barriers between the mainland and Taiwan.
The service trade agreement, one of several follow-up agreements to the ECFA inked in June this year during the 9th round of talks between the ARATS and the SEF, has not been endorsed by the island's legislature.
It stipulates that to lower market access threshold for service providers from both sides, the Chinese mainland will open 80 service sectors to Taiwan, while Taiwan will open 64 sectors to the mainland.
Chiang expressed hopes that the service pact can be endorsed by the legislature as soon as possible and that the two sides can reach agreement on commodity trade at an early date.
Chen said, during their visit the ARATS and the SEF also made arrangements for the 10th round of talks between the two bodies. He hoped the 10th round of talks can be held by the Chinese lunar new year which falls on the end of January 2014.
Chen said another aim of their visit is to seek cooperation opportunities from the island' s further economic liberation. Accordingly, the delegation visited Taiwan' s air and sea ports, free trade zones, and industrial parks.
On Sunday, Chen also met with the Kuomintang honorary chairman Lien Chan. Chen expressed hopes that the two sides work together to take the cross-Straits economic cooperation to a higher level.
The delegation' s itinerary on Sunday, the sixth day of their trip, included visiting the Taiwan smart phone manufacturer HTC, automaker Yulong Group, the Bank of China's Taipei branch, the Taipei office of the China Chamber of Commerce of Machinery and Electronic Products, and talking with representatives of Taiwan-based mainland investors.