Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) yesterday said in China that he hoped a service trade agreement can be signed with China by the end of the year.
He also called on China to open up more of its service sector to Taiwanese businesspeople.
Chiang made the remarks during a one-day meeting on the transformation of Taiwanese businesses sponsored by the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China.
He said a trade service pact would be the focus of the next round of cross-strait talks between the SEF and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS).
The last round of SEF-ARATS talks took place in Taipei early last month.
“I hope such an agreement could be signed at the end of the year, but it will depend on the progress of negotiations,” he said at the meeting, which was also attended by ARATS Vice President Wang Zaixi (王在希).
He urged the participants at the meeting to outline which services they wished to enter in China, so Taiwan’s negotiation team could prepare for the next round of talks.
Chiang also said that the medical service, financial and film industries were possible areas in which Taiwanese businesses could invest.
Taiwanese businesses in China are mostly involved in OEM business, but they should shift to the service industry from the manufacturing industry in the wake of the global economic crises in recent years, he said.
They need government support and assistance from both sides of the Taiwan Strait in the transformation process, Chiang said.
He added that if Taiwanese businesses could upgrade themselves through transformation, they would make a great contribution to the economic development of China.