Good start for Early Harvest Program under ECFA

Early Harvest Program on goods trade and service trade under ECFA enters into effect as of January 1, 2011. The program has been successful up to the end of March, 2011, with remarkable achievements in promoting the sustainable, rapid and healthy development of cross-Straits trade and economic cooperation.

According to goods trade statistics by the Mainland, in the first quarter, 3,923 batches of goods imported from Taiwan at a value of US$684 million, which are covered by Harvest Early Program, enjoyed a customs duty cut by 127 million yuan. Main imports from Taiwan are chemicals, with the value of US$315 million yuan, accounting for 46.1% of the imports. Others imports with large volume are plastic products, base metals, machinery and electrical products, and textiles, accounting for 11.2%, 10.6%, 6.8% and 4.9% respectively. And imports of agricultural products, with a value of US$1.595 million account for 0.2%.

Driven up by the preferential policies of ECFA, the Mainland’s imports under ECFA from Taiwan totaled US$4.92 billion, up by 26.1% year on year, higher than import growth of 16.2% from Taiwan in the same period. What’s more, the import of some products realized rapid growth, for example, p-xylene products up by 162%, race bicycles up by 106%, CNC lathes up by 61% and tea up by 101% year on year.

According to service trade statistics by the Mainland, at the end of March, some Taiwan enterprises were approved to access the Mainland market according to the measures of the Early Harvest Program. In the non-financial sector, five accounting firms were granted the certificate of audit for a year, 9 Taiwan enterprises were approved to engage in computer and related business by individual proprietorship, 26 Taiwan enterprises were approved to engage in design services, and 2 Taiwan enterprises were approved to engage in conference services by individual proprietorship.

In financial sector, 3 security companies were granted the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor, and insurance companies in Taiwan could set up two companies in the Mainland by integration or merge. There are 9 banks from Taiwan indirectly benefited from the Early Harvest Program: 6 banks were approved to set up branches in the Mainland, and after a year, they could take RMB services for Taiwan-invested companies if the branches realize profits in the first year, the other three banks were approved to set up offices in the Mainland and apply to set up branches after a year.

Source: Ministry of Commerce Website;  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/newsrelease/significantnews/201105/20110507570978.html

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