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Taiwan, China agree to establish offices for trade groups
Central News Agency
2013-12-10 10:12 PM
Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) A Taiwanese business association and a Chinese trade group will be able to set up liaison offices across the Taiwan Strait, following a Tuesday decision from the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (ECC) in Taipei. Under an agreement struck by representatives of both sides, the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association will open an office in China and China's Association of Economy and Trade Across Taiwan Straits will open its office in Taiwan in the first half of next year. The agreement is the product of the CEE's fifth meeting, which opened Tuesday under the leadership of Kao Koong-lian, vice chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, and Zheng Lizhong, vice president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits. The delegations from both sides were headed by Taiwan's Vice Economic Affairs Minister Cho Shih-Chao and his counterpart, China's Vice Commerce Minister Gao Yan, who engaged in one-on-one discussions. Cho said after the meeting that the two sides will continue to push for the implementation of a cross-strait service trade agreement, one of several follow-up agreements to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which is pending ratification by Taiwan's legislature. He said the two sides made progress in discussing a trade-in-goods agreement, including regulations on places of origin, customs procedures, checks for food safety and measures on quarantine and trade barriers. The two sides have largely completed negotiations on the issues of place of origin and customs procedures, according to Cho. At a separate press conference, Gao said that both parties agreed to continue cooperation in six areas: consolidating the results of the "early harvest" program of the ECFA, implementing other bilateral agreements, promoting ECFA follow-up talks, expanding the scope of industrial cooperation, moving to promote more cross-strait offices for trade and economic entities, and establishing new platforms for cooperation. The ECC is a mechanism for talks between the two semi-official organizations representing cross-strait interests. Taiwan and China take turns hosting ECC meetings. Following an April 18, 2012 announcement, Taiwan External Trade Development Council has set up Taiwan Trade Centers in China, while China's Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products has also set up an office in Taiwan. (Scarlett Chai and Y.L. Kao)
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