Mon, Mar 31, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TRADE PACT SIEGE: ARATS says failure to pass pact would be ‘regrettable’

CLEAR DISTINCTION:The association’s chair said concerns about the content and the approval process of the trade pact were separate issues

Staff writer, with CNA

Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) said yesterday that it would be regrettable if the cross-strait service trade agreement fails to pass the legislature in the near term.

The Chinese official said he expects Taiwan’s well-developed service sector, which accounts for 70 percent of its GDP, to integrate with China’s domestic market, which is seeking further liberalization.

The two nations are expected to benefit from the service trade agreement because it is key to adjustments in the two sides’ current economic structures and covers a wide range of industries, he said.

“If the agreement passes, it will contribute greatly to Taiwan’s economic development. If the deal fails to pass, I will feel deep regret for Taiwanese,” Chen said during a keynote speech at a business seminar held by Lingnan College at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China.

Chen said he does not understand whether protesters in Taiwan have concerns about the content or the approval process of the trade pact, but added that the two types of concerns are different issues.

He was responding to the student-led protesters’ occupation of the Legislative Yuan in reaction to an attempt by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to send the agreement straight to a vote on the legislative floor, bypassing legislative committee review.

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