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Taiwan, China to sign investment protection, customs pacts

2012/08/06 16:25:21

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) Taiwan and China will sign an investment protection and a customs cooperation pact on Thursday at the next round of high-level cross-strait talks in Taipei, Taiwan's top China negotiator said Monday.

Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, said the biggest benefit of the investment protection pact is that it will establish an institutionalized and multi-layered mechanism to resolve investment disputes.

The pact will go beyond current regulations in China and allow arbitration institutes from the two sides to be involved in resolving investment disputes, Chiang said.

"The signing of the investment protection pact will help to increase mutual investments and industrial cooperation between the two sides," Chiang said at a press conference in Taipei ahead of the one-day meeting.

However, he said the pact is not a "panacea to solve all commercial disputes" and called on Taiwanese companies to familiarize themselves with the law and investment environment in China and choose business partners carefully before investing.

Meanwhile, the customs cooperation agreement will help expedite customs clearance, clamp down on smuggling and lower operational costs for exporters, Chiang said.

Taiwan's exports to China reached US$124 billion in 2011 and its imports from China reached over US$45 billion, the chairman said, adding that speedier customs clearance has become one of the top concerns for Taiwanese companies exporting products to China.

In addition to signing the two agreements, Chiang said representatives from the two sides will review the execution of past agreements and decide on issues to be negotiated in the next meeting between the foundation and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.

Zheng Lizhong, vice president of the association, will lead a delegation to Taiwan on Aug. 7 for pre-meeting talks and preparatory work, Chiang said.

Chen Yunlin, president of the association, will arrive in Taiwan on Aug. 9, and the Chinese delegation is expected to leave Taiwan the following day.

The eighth round of Chiang-Chen talks will take place at the Grand Hotel. More than 100 domestic and foreign media are expected to cover the event.

(By Christie Chen)