Thu, Dec 18, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Cross-strait trade in goods talks to resume next year

NO CONSENSUS:Trade officials discussed four industrial sectors with their Chinese counterparts in a day of technical negotiations to develop ‘mutual understanding’

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

The 10th round of talks for a cross-strait trade in goods pact or other trade negotiations will not be held before the end of this year, Bureau of Foreign Trade Director-General Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮) said yesterday.

Yang, who led the negotiation team, returned to Taiwan yesterday afternoon from a one-day technical meeting about the trade pact with China’s Chen Xin (陳星), the director of the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau division of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

“Our talk lasted for three hours on Tuesday and centered on exchanging basic information about display panels and machine tools, as well as the automobile and petrochemical industries,” Yang told a news conference, adding that no consensus was reached.

“It is not necessary to have a solid outcome after a negotiation. Sometimes effective communication is more valuable than a result,” Yang said.

Industrial Development Bureau Deputy Director-General Lien Ching-chang (連錦漳) said the talks were for sharing opinions on the relevant industries.

“We have exchanged import and export figures for the four industries and general knowledge about their structures,” Lien said. “We did not talk about the details of lowering tariffs for the four sectors.”

It is important to build “mutual understanding” on information before discussing tariffs, he added.

Beijing has not set an exact date for signing its free-trade pact with South Korea, but Taiwan has expressed its opinions to China on achieving better conditions than South Korea, Yang said.

She said the talk had not included results of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) expansion talks, saying that a bilateral meeting would not address an issue tied to other, multilateral talks.

Yang’s remark came after some pundits said that it might be more difficult for Taiwan to bargain with China on lowering tariffs on display panels after the WTO failed to reach a consensus on the ITA expansion talks.

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