Fri, Aug 10, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Cross-strait investment protection accord signed

EXPECTATIONS:The SEF chief acknowledged public disappointment with the results of previous pacts and called for better execution to uphold public interests

By Mo Yan-chih and Amy Su  /  Staff reporters

Chung’s detention has raised concern about China’s poor human rights record. Pro-independence advocates and civic groups have questioned China’s willingness to implement the investment protection agreement and protect Taiwanese investors’ personal safety.

Chen yesterday promised that the two agreements would help foster a better environment for investors across the Taiwan Strait and said follow-up negotiations on the ECFA would be the priority in future talks.

The SEF and ARATS will also discuss new issues in future cross-strait negotiations, such as technology, culture and education, which have increasingly drawn public attention as cross-strait exchanges increased, he said.

After signing the agreements, Chiang and Chen exchanged gifts. The SEF presented a lacquer painting featuring grapes to symbolize a fruitful cross-strait development, while ARATS gave the SEF a pair of vases.

The two envoys did not comment on speculation that both would retire from their posts and that this would be the last time they would be participating in cross-strait talks.

“It is thanks to the team’s hard work that we have achieved the signing of these follow-up agreements after the cross-strait ECFA,” Chiang told a press conference after the signing ceremony.

Later yesterday, the SEF confirmed that service trade would be the priority issue in the next Chiang-Chen meeting.

Investment Commission Executive Secretary-General Fan Liang-tung (范良棟), who was at the meeting, said that compared with service trade, commodity trade would be more difficult to handle as it involves the issue of zero tariffs.

However, the SEF remained confident that the issue of commodity trade may finally be solved following its success in signing the ECFA.

The SEF added that it expected to establish long-term bilateral contacts with ARATS to review the execution of agreements signed to promote the welfare of people from both sides of the Strait.

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