Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 3 News List

MOU talks nearly complete: MAC

DISCUSSIONMemorandums of understanding on banking, insurance, securities and futures are necessary before institutional investors from China can invest in local stocks

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Negotiations between Taiwan and China on the signing of three financial memorandums of understanding (MOUs) are nearly complete, Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) said.

Establishing MOUs on cross-strait cooperation in the supervision and regulation of banking, insurance, securities and futures has been a main focus for Taiwan’s financial authorities since a financial cooperation agreement with China was signed in Nanjing on April 26 during the third round of talks between Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and his Chinese counterpart, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林).

The MOUs are essential before qualified domestic institutional investors from China can invest in Taiwanese stocks.

In an interview with the Central News Agency on Thursday, Lai said the two sides had made significant progress in their discussions on the MOUs over the past months, making it likely the documents will be signed soon.

Lai said the two sides had not decided on the date and venue for the next round of Chiang-Chen talks, but they were expected to take place before the end of the year.

Issues expected to be on the agenda of the fourth round of talks are fishery cooperation; agricultural quarantine inspections; standards, inspections and certification for industrial products; and preventing double taxation, Lai said.

Other issues that might be included are investment protection, intellectual property rights protection, trade dispute mediation and express customs clearance, she said, adding that the proposal to sign a cross-strait economic cooperation framework agreement might also be raised for discussion if the necessary preparatory work is completed before the talks begin.

On the opening of Chinese investment in Taiwan, Lai said that since June 30, the government has liberalized 192 areas for investment in the manufacturing, service and public construction sectors. These sectors make up 25 percent of the total areas targeted for liberalization.

So far, seven Chinese airline companies and one computer firm have obtained the government’s approval to invest in Taiwan, she said.

Lai said that the areas open to Chinese capital are non-­sensitive and that Chinese investors are not allowed to bid for public construction projects.

To prevent property speculation, Chinese investors who buy residential property in Taiwan are forbidden from transferring the property within three years of purchase, Lai said.

Addressing objections by the Democratic Progressive Party to the liberalization policy, she said that the government had not sacrificed the country’s sovereignty when promoting relations with China.

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