Wed, May 18, 2011 - Page 3 News List

No word yet on date of next round of cross-strait talks

Staff Writer, with CNA

Cross-strait negotiators have not yet decided when and where the next round of high-level talks will take place, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) said yesterday.

Those decisions will be made only after negotiators have worked out the details of an investment protection agreement and a nuclear safety accord, which are expected to be signed at the next meeting, he said at the opening of a forum on the prospects of cross-strait economic and industrial cooperation.

However, Chiang said he hoped the next round of meetings, which would be the seventh, would be held in the first half of this year.

In a speech delivered to the forum, Chiang said the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) paved the way for closer economic exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, while China’s 12th five-year development plan provides opportunities for Taiwanese businesspeople to expand their investment operations in China.

China’s development plan is poised to turn the nation from the world’s largest factory into its largest market, he said.

It would also offer Taiwanese businesspeople a golden opportunity to upgrade or change the types of businesses they operate in China, he said.

Taiwan and China’s economic structures are basically complementary, with Taiwan’s competitive edge being creative and innovative capability, the ability to explore overseas markets and expertise in industrial research and development, he said.

China’s advantages are a huge and diverse domestic market, a large and cheap labor force, huge land resources and unprecedented administrative efficiency, he said.

The sixth round of high-level cross-strait talks took place in Taipei last December between Chiang and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林).

An agreement on cooperation in medical and healthcare services was signed and the two sides agreed to activate a cross-strait commission to address ECFA-related negotiations and consultations.

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