The Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) held the second expert-level talks on the cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in Taoyuan County, Taiwan, on March 31 to April 1. Tang Wei, Councilor of ARATS, headed a delegation to hold talks with SEF Consultant Huang Zhipeng. The two parties deeply exchanged views on the early harvest program, goods trade and services trade in the cross-Straits ECFA, and arrangements for future negotiations.
During the talks, the two parties reached many consensuses, including:
principles as taking into account common concerns on the product projects and categories of service industries listed in the early harvest program, the urgency, necessity, etc;
The mainland party stated that it fully understands the concerns of Taiwan peasants, so it didn’t require Taiwan to further ease the restriction of mainland’s farm produce to Taiwan in the negotiation, with the early harvest charge also exclusive of farm products;
The mainland party tries its utmost not to affect Taiwan’s weak industries and small and medium-sized enterprises in the early harvest program.
The two parties compared notes with each other on the agreement text, with the preliminary consensus reached. Full consideration will be made on cross-Straits characteristics to conduct practical and professional arrangements.
Also, the two parties decided to kick off the negotiation of small groups on rules of origin and arrived at an agreement on the working mechanism and the timetable of negotiation.
The Mainland party hoped that both sides could consider the diversity not only in economies but also in the industrial competitions of Mainland and Taiwan. And Taiwan expressed its fully understanding of the requirements of the industries of the Mainland.
This negotiation gained rich fruits, and the two parties agreed to speed up the negotiations on the cross-Straits ECFA, and to hold the third-round negotiation in the mainland as soon as possible.
Source: Ministry of Commerce Website; http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/newsrelease/significantnews/201004/20100406854470.html.