Mon, Aug 01, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Follow-up ECFA talks to be held in Taipei this week

Staff Writer, with CNA

A new round of negotiations that are a follow-up to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which was signed in June last year, will be held in Taipei this week, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday.

Chen Xing (陳星), director--general of the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs under the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, is scheduled to lead the Chinese delegation.

Taiwanese negotiators will be led by Bureau of Foreign Trade Director-General Bill Cho (卓士昭).

The delegates are expected to continue working group discussions on trade in goods and services.

The week-long talks will be the third round of discussions on the issue since ECFA negotiations were concluded.

During discussions, 5,824 items are to be reviewed in the goods section for tariff reductions, while more than 100 items are to be reviewed in the services sector, MOEA officials said.

Taiwan will make flat panels, finished automobiles, certain plastics and machine tools top priorities for tariff reductions in the talks.

Taiwan has been resistant to further opening its markets to Chinese agricultural products since signing the ECFA, which allows certain farm produce from China to enter Taiwan.

Nevertheless, Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming (陳德銘) said recently that China hopes to sell agricultural products to Taiwan that are not produced in Taiwan or that are in short supply.

Meanwhile, negotiators from the two sides are putting the final touches on an investment protection agreement that has been discussed since late last year.

Both sides expect to reach an agreement during the next, or seventh, round of top-level talks between Taiwan and China, scheduled to take place in China’s centrally administered municipality of Tianjin next month.

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