The proposed cross-strait investment protection and promotion agreement will offer systematic and comprehensive protection for Taiwanese businesspeople in China, and the protection will apply to previous investment deals, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday.
Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), failed to sign the agreement during the previous cross-strait talks last year due to disagreements on the details.
Ahead of the eighth round of cross-strait talks on Thursday, MAC Chairperson Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) discussed the agreement and said that the rights of Taiwanese businesspeople regarding property, management and personal safety would be included in the agreement.
“It has been a long road trying to sign the cross-strait investment protection and promotion agreement, and now the time is ripe … The agreement will protect the rights of Taiwanese businesspeople in China, and help improve the investment environment for them,” she told a press conference held at the council.
She dismissed concerns about the change of the title of the agreement, in which the term “promotion” (促進) was added to the agreement, and said “promotion” did not mean that Taiwan would further open its markets to China.
The investment protection deal has proved more difficult to negotiate because Taiwan has proposed that disputes between Taiwanese investors and the Chinese government should be arbitrated by an agency such as the International Chamber of Commerce.
The agreement, which is scheduled to be signed during the cross-strait talks, will address issues including the dispute-solving mechanism, investors’ personal freedom and personal safety and a transparent and reasonable compensation system.
Investments made before the agreement takes effect are also applicable, and investors can continue to cite the agreement in seeking protections, she said.
The cross-strait talks next week will be held at the Taipei Grand Hotel. ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) and the Chinese delegation will arrive in Taipei on Aug. 8. Chen will meet with SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) the next day to preside over the talks, which will be held at the Grand Hotel.
After the cross-strait talks are finished, Chen and his wife plan to return to China on Friday.