Taiwanese businesses can now submit disputes involving China to a newly established unit under the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Committee (ECC) to have them reconsidered if they are dissatisfied with the handling of such cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement.
The statement came in the wake of comments by William Kao (高為邦), president of the Victims of Investment in China Association, who on Friday said that Taiwanese companies have filed more than 2,800 complaints involving investment disputes in China over the past 10 years, but less than 1 percent have been settled.
At present, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) is responsible for handling matters regarding the protection of and compensation for Taiwanese investors in China if they become involved in business disputes there, Kao said.
Chiu Yi-cheh (邱一徹), director-general of the ministry’s Department of Investment Services, said that after the Cross-Strait Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement, signed in August last year, went into effect, the ministry set up a joint service center for Taiwanese businesses operating in China, while the Taiwan Affairs Office established a complaint and coordination unit for the resolution of cross-strait investment disputes.
The SEF’s mechanism for the resolution of cross-strait economic and trade disputes is mainly used for handling business disputes among investors, while the ministry’s joint service center deals primarily with disputes between investors and Chinese authorities, including compensation for expropriation, issuance of land-use rights and business registration, Chiu said.
According to the ministry’s statistics, between August last year and Nov. 30, Taiwan sent 84 business disputes to China for resolution, 67 of which were dealt with by authorities and 17 were settled, Chiu said.
The joint service center will join hands with its Chinese counterpart to review disputes and if Taiwanese businesses are dissatisfied with the coordination results for dispute resolution, they can refer their cases to the ECC’s Investment Working Group.
The SEF has sent 2,298 commercial disputes involving China-based Taiwanese businesses to its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, between May 20, 2008, and the end of last month. Of these, 1,064 were settled, representing a conclusion rate of 46.3 percent, an SEF official said.