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Taiwan's 'early harvest' list bigger than China's: minister

2010/06/15 21:43:58

Taipei, June 15 (CNA) Taiwan's "early harvest" list under itsproposed trade pact with China is twice the length of China's interms of the number of items and four times bigger in terms of value,Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang said Tuesday.

In a brief to the legislature about the country's third round oftrade talks with China that took place in Beijing Sunday, Shih saidTaiwan has listed 500 categories of goods on its list, with an annualexport value of US$12 billion, while allowing China to put 250categories of goods on its list, with an annual export value of aboutUS$3 billion.

Goods on the lists will be able to enter the other side's marketwith preferential tariffs.

According to government statistics, Taiwan exported US$62billion-worth of goods to China in 2009 while importing US$24.5billion-worth of goods from there.

Taiwan's list has three sections, said Shih. The first includeschemicals, petrochemicals, plastics, rubber, textile fibers, andchemicals used in the textile industry, the minister said.

The second section includes iron, aluminum, brass, machinery,machine components, machine tools, machine tool components,automobile parts, bicycles and bicycle parts.

The third section includes electronic products, electronicmaterials, and several optical products.

Various items not included on the list might be added in ensuingbilateral talks, Shih went on, adding that negotiations on the textof the pact and its five appendixes have almost been completed andthat both sides are verifying the content of the documents.

Hopefully, he said, the pact will be signed in the next meetingbetween the top negotiators of both sides.

Meanwhile Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan, whojoined Shih in the briefing, denied opposition parties' claims thatthe pact, once concluded, will oblige Taiwan to open its market toall Chinese goods within 10 years.

She said the pact has a termination clause that can terminate theagreement when necessary, and that the market-opening process willtake into consideration the economic conditions of both signatories.

(By Chou Yung-chieh and Maubo Chang)