Cross-strait trade offices to be set up by end of the month

POSITIVE RESULTS::The Taiwan External Trade Development Council said its application to establish a center in Shanghai was approved last month

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 - Page 3

Private trade organizations from Taiwan and China are set to exchange offices across the Taiwan Strait by the end of this month, economics officials said yesterday.

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Cho Shih-chao (卓士昭) said the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee will hold its fourth regular meeting tomorrow in Guangzhou Province, China, during which the opening date of the offices will be announced. The offices will first be established in Shanghai, then Taipei and Beijing, within the next three weeks, the officials said.

The committee was established to fulfil one of the clauses of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed between the two sides in June 2010. It acts as a platform for the two sides to negotiate affairs related to the ECFA and a meeting is held every six months.

Cho said the upcoming meeting will review what has been done in the past six months and no further negotiations on trade in services will be conducted.

The Taiwan External Trade Development Council, the nation’s top trade promoter, said it applied to establish Taiwanese trade centers in Shanghai and Beijing in March. The application for a Shanghai center was approved on Nov. 26 and the one for Beijing is expected to be approved by the end of the year, it said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Department of Commerce said that applications from the Beijing-based China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products to establish offices in Taiwan have also been approved.

The official opening date of the offices on both sides will be announced at the meeting.

Taiwanese committee members at the meeting include Cho, Straits Exchange Foundation Deputy Chairman Kao Koong-lian (高孔廉) and officials from several agencies such as the Mainland Affairs Council and the Council for Economic Planning and Development.

China’s delegation includes Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中), vice president of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, and Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Yaoping (蔣耀平), the Beijing-based China News Service said.