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Cross-strait trade pact talks to resume in Beijing (update)

Cross-strait trade pact talks to resume in Beijing (update)

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) An 11th round of talks over a cross-Taiwan Strait trade in goods agreement will take place in Beijing Sept. 28-29, according to David Hsu (???), deputy director-general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Discussions in the upcoming meeting will center mainly on reducing tariffs on agricultural and industrial products and also hammering out the tariff-rate quota, Hsu said.
He added that the ministry remained optimistic that the pact could be finalized by the end of this year.
Negotiations on the trade in goods agreement have been slow, partly because of protests against a services trade agreement that led to the student-occupation of Taiwan's legislature last year. Critics worried about opening up too much to mainland China and becoming too dependent on Chinese trade blocked the services trade agreement from being approved by the legislature. But supporters, including the government, believe it will help Taiwan's economy. At the upcoming meeting, both sides will exchange ideas on four major industrial sectors -- petrochemicals, LED displays, and automotive and machine tools. Also, issues regarding traditional industries, small- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as the petrochemical, textile, and iron and steel sectors will be raised. Hsu said if discussions about items on market-opening do not go smoothly, it might further hamper talks between the two sides on the technical barrier to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies and administrative measures. Taiwan's delegation will be led by Yang Jen-ni (???), head of the MOEA's Bureau of Foreign Trade, and Wu Ming-ji (???), director-general of the Industrial Development Bureau, while the Chinese delegation will be led by Sun Tong (??), head of the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs under China's Ministry of Commerce. The meeting will be the first time Yang will negotiate with Sun. Taiwan's Industrial Development Bureau will also dispatch its chief to attend the meeting, which Hsu said reflected how much the Taiwanese side cares about this new round of talks. "We need to let them know that we are serious on this," said Hsu. The last round of talks took place from March 31 to April 2 this year. Representatives from the two sides completed two preparatory meetings before finalizing the date of the new round of talks.
(By C.W. Huang and Lee Mei-yu)


Updated : 2021-09-19 07:58 GMT+08:00