Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said yesterday there would be more than 300 items on the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) “early harvest” list, but was unable to confirm when the next round of cross-strait negotiations would take place, other than to say the schedule remains on track.
The “early harvest” list proposed by Taiwan will list which products are to enjoy reduced or zero duties for imports and exports when the pact is signed.
The ministry previously said the list would include about 500 items, but Shih confirmed at the legislature that the list would be now be limited to “more than 300 items.” Shih also confirmed the inclusion of the machinery sector on the list.
The first formal round of ECFA negotiations took place in Beijing in January, followed by a second round in Taipei in March. Shih said details of the third round of talks have yet to be finalized.
The government confirmed earlier that both sides would sign the agreement in June.
“There are indeed some variables involved [in the negotiation process]. The goal of signing an ECFA in June still remains intact ... The sooner we sign the better,” Shih said.
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