Taipei, Aug. 10 (CNA) Premier Sean Chen said Friday that related agencies should move as quickly as possible to complete the steps needed for the investment protection and customs cooperation pacts signed Thursday to take effect.
He also described the signing of the two agreements as a symbol of improving economic cooperation across the Taiwan Strait, according to a statement released by the Cabinet.
The premier's remarks came after he was briefed by Mainland Affairs Council head Lai Shin-yuan and Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung on the agreements.
The two pacts were signed during the eighth round of cross-Taiwan Strait talks in Taipei between Chiang and his Chinese counterpart, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits President Chen Yunlin.
The two agreements were among the areas designated for follow-up negotiations in the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed by Taiwan and China.
Chen said the investment protection pact will help establish a mechanism to protect investors, promote bilateral investment and further attract foreign businesses to invest in Taiwan.
The new customs cooperation agreement, a platform to be established to enhance discussion of customs-related problems, can play an integral part in reducing business costs and facilitating trade across the strait, the premier said.
Since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, Taiwan and China have concluded 18 agreements, which Chen praised as the pillar of promoting bilateral benefits, deepening mutual trust and ensuring peaceful development in cross-strait ties.
The agreements cover a range of areas, from tourism and public health to trade and mutual assistance on fighting crime.
Chen said he hopes more progress can be made on the issues of deporting major economic suspects hiding in China to Taiwan and compensating Taiwanese manufacturers for the losses they suffered by using dairy products from China contaminated by melamine in 2008.
At a news conference held shortly after the meeting with the premier, Chiang said trade in services will be a priority issue in the next round of top-level talks between Taiwan and China.
Asked about the goals of an agreement on trade in services, Lai declined to divulge any details.
"Both sides are engaging in negotiations on trade in services, but we cannot provide details at the moment," she said.
(By Elaine Hou)