Sat, Sep 26, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Trade in goods talks to resume on Monday in Beijing

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

The 11th round of formal negotiations on the cross-strait trade in goods agreement is to take place on Monday in Beijing, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

“We have entered into the latter stages of negotiation on the pact. The talks on Monday and Tuesday are to center on lowering tariffs and opening markets for agricultural and industrial goods,” Bureau of Foreign Trade Deputy Director-General David Hsu (徐大衛) told a press conference.

Taiwan’s negotiation team for the 11th round of talks on the trade in goods pact will be led by bureau Director-General Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮) and Industrial Development Bureau Director-General Wu Ming-ji (吳明機), while Beijing’s team is to be led by Sun Tong (孫彤), head of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, Hsu said.

He said the two-day negotiation would first tackle tariff issues for the downstream goods of the petrochemicals, stainless steel and textile industries, then proceed into discussions over those for the flat panel, automobile, machine tool and upperstream petrochemicals industries.

“We will ‘roughly’ go through every item of each industry during the meeting, hoping to find common ground on what items can be put in different buffer periods of tax exemption,” Hsu said.

The ministry is scheduled to hold a press conference in Taipei on Thursday next week to update the public about the scope of Taiwan’s products exempted from China’s tariffs and vice versa, he said.

Hsu said if the talks this time go smoothly, the ministry will try to accelerate the negotiations.

“We do not rule out having formal talks with Beijing on a monthly basis for the remainder of the year. Our goal is to complete the negotiation before the end of this year,” Hsu said.

The next round of negotiations on the trade in goods pact is to discuss the details of tariff exemptions on every single item of goods, he said, adding that the next talks will also draft an agreement on resolving bilateral trade problems.

When asked why the cross-strait talks this time are to take place in China instead of Taiwan, Hsu said that because many Chinese officials are to join the meeting, it would be inconvenient for them to apply for entry permits within a short period of time.

However, to ensure the talks are conducted on an equal footing, Chinese representatives have agreed to come to Taiwan for the next and the following talks on the trade in goods pact.

The last talks were held in Beijing on March 30. After those meetings, the two sides of the Strait convened two meetings on technical issues in Beijing, on July 2 and Aug. 19 respectively, the ministry said.

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