Taipei and Beijing are likely to sign an investment protection agreement during the upcoming high-level cross-strait talks scheduled for later this year, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian (高孔廉) said yesterday.
Kao said the two sides will begin negotiations on four more agreements after the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) takes effect. They will cover traded goods, services, dispute settlement and investment protection.
Once negotiations on the accords are complete, foundation chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) will be ready to sign the agreement with his Chinese counterpart, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), Kao said.
Of the four proposed pacts, Kao said that the investment protection deal is thought to be the easiest to deal with and is likely to be the first to be signed during the next Chiang-Chen meeting, he said.
As to exactly when the ECFA will come into effect, Kao said that since the legislature had only approved the trade deal and related legal revisions on Wednesday, the lawmaking body will notify the Executive Yuan, which will then inform the Mainland Affairs Council.
The council will then authorize the foundation to convey the information to ARATS and the trade pact will come into force the day after the notification is received, he said.
Council deputy minister Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) added the legislature will also need to inform President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that the legal revisions pertaining to the trade pact have cleared the legislature so that the president can promulgate them into law.
Regarding the four supplementary agreements, Liu said the Ministry of Economic Affairs would form a team to negotiate the investment protection accord, while the cross-strait economic cooperation committee will tackle the negotiations on the remaining three pacts.
The committee, an ad hoc body with different members depending on the negotiating issue, will be formed after the ECFA comes into force, Liu said.
Meanwhile, Kao will lead a 12-member delegation to China tomorrow. The main purpose of Kao’s eight-day trip is to visit Taiwanese businesses based in Zhejiang Province. Kao and the delegation will also visit the Shanghai Expo.
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