Taiwan, China sign landmark trade agreement

06/29/2010 02:54 PM
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Chongqing, June 29 (CNA) Taiwan and China signed a landmarkeconomic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) Tuesday, heralding anew era in cross-Taiwan Strait trade amid efforts to slash orgradually remove barriers to bilateral trade and investment.

Follow-up meetings on matters related to goods and services willbe held by a cross-strait economic cooperation committee that will beset up under the ECFA, a Taiwanese official said.

The signing of the ECFA was the main item on the agenda of thefifth round of high-level talks between the two sides since PresidentMa Ying-jeou took office in May 2008.

Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of Taiwan's quasi-official StraitsExchange Foundation (SEF) , inked the ECFA with his Chinesecounterpart Chen Yunlin, president of Beijing's Association forRelations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) at the luxury hotelSofitel Forebase Chongqing.

Huang Chih-peng, director-general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade,said that both sides have agreed that negotiations on four agreementson goods, services, investment protection and dispute settlement willbe conducted by the proposed committee.

According to Huang, 17 departments or institutions in China willtake part in the negotiations on the four agreements, and theparticipating agencies from the Taiwan side will be decided later.

Huang said that working groups on both sides will be set up underthe committee, and the Foreign Trade Bureau and IndustrialDevelopment Bureau may be among them.

(By Lin Shu-yuan and Fanny Liu)ENDITEM /pc

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