The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) yesterday dismissed a report that Taiwan would open its doors to 830 China-grown agricultural products in the planned free economic zone or allow these products to be labeled as made in Taiwan.
Citing Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信), the Chinese-language Liberty Times newspaper (The Taipei Times’ sister paper), reported yesterday that the government had decided to allow one-tenth of agricultural products processed in the future free economic zone to be sold in Taiwan.
As a result, about 830 China-grown agricultural products will gain access to the Taiwanese market, Hsu said.
Furthermore, Chinese agricultural products can be labeled as made in Taiwan after being processed in the proposed zone, the newspaper quoted Hsu as saying.
The free economic zone draft plan was listed as a government priority and is likely to be passed by the Legislative Yuan by next session, which starts on Feb. 1 and ends in May.
“All agricultural products processed in the free economic zone will be exported,” Council official Wu Ming-chi (吳明機) told reporters yesterday.
According to the Regulations Governing Certificates of Origin and Certificates of Processing (原產地證明書及加工證明書管理辦法), export goods that are processed in Taiwan and increase by 35 percent in value during the process can be labeled as made in Taiwan.
Under the government’s plan, the free economic zone would include five regional centers: an agricultural transportation and sales center, a medical center for severe diseases and medical tourism, an innovation and integration center for industries, a logistics center and a personnel training center, CEPD Minister Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) said at the council’s year-end press conference last month.
Yiin said that all government departments under the Executive Yuan are close to a consensus concerning the free economic zone.
The government would ease restrictions on labor recruitment, cash flow, land acquisition and market opening for operations set up within the government-designated free economic zone, Yiin said.
According to the council, the zone is to be located in Greater Kaohsiung.