The Mainland’s Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) held its first session in Taoyuan County of Taiwan on February 22. Vice Chairman of ARATS Zheng Lizhong and Vice Chairman of SEF Kao Konglian, as the ECC conveners, made a speech in the session respectively. Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei, the chief representative of the mainland and special adviser of ARATS, and the island’s chief representative chaired the negotiations. The two sides, in the session, had in-depth exchanges of views on the setup of working groups under ECC, follow-up negotiations on agreements under ECFA, review and assessment on the implementation of the ECFA’s “Early Harvest Program”, and reached many consensuses.
It was decided in the session to set up six working groups engaged in negotiations on relevant agreements and the promotion of cooperation in fields of trade in goods, trade in services, investment, settlement of dispute, industrial cooperation and cooperation of customs authority respectively.
In the session, the implementation of ECFA’s “Early Harvest Program” was reviewed and assessed. And it was agreed that the program went very well and made preliminary achievements. Besides, the two sides exchanged their experiences in the implementation of the program, providing the safeguard for the further implementation of the program.
The two sides in the session spoke highly of the positive progress made in the negotiations on cross-Straits Investment Protection Agreements and announced to launch negotiations on three agreements on trade in goods, trade in services and settlement of dispute, marking that the follow-up negotiations were started in an all-round way.
In addition, the two sides exchanged views on setting up offices by the two sides and stated that they would actively boost the setup of offices by trade and economic committees’ institutions to facilitate economic exchanges and cooperation of the two sides.
Both sides agreed that the ECC, as the mechanism for the implementation and negotiation on ECFA and other issues under the framework of the NPC and CPPCC, and the important platform of the negotiation of systematism in economy and trade across the Straits, must play an important role in deepening the cross-Straits trade and economic exchanges and economic relations. The two sides would like to steadily push forward the follow-up work of ECFA as to make new fruits, promote the economic prosperity and increase the benefits of the two people across the Straits.
Source: Ministry of Commerce Website; http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/newsrelease/significantnews/201102/20110207414263.html