MOFCOM | 简体中文版
Home> Speeches

Speech by Vice Minister Jiang Yaoping after the Regular Meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee


Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends from the Media,

Good afternoon.

Today, the 2nd Regular Meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee hosted by the ARATS and the SEF was held beside the beautiful West Lake. First, on behalf of all the staff of the Economic Cooperation Committee from the Chinese mainland, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the hard-working journalists, colleagues from the ARATS and the SEF and staff of the Dragon Hotel.

As we all know, the 1st Regular Meeting of Economic Cooperation Committee was held in Taiwan while this is the first time we held it in the mainland. At the 1st Regular Meeting, held in Zhongli, Taoyuan, we announced the establishment of six working groups for trade in goods, trade in services, investment, dispute settlement, industrial cooperation and customs, launched talks for trade in goods agreement, trade in services agreement, and dispute settlement agreement, which served as the prologue to the implementation of ECFA and follow-up talks. In an open, active and practical manner, representatives from the two sides reviewed the operations of the six working groups since the 1st Regular Meeting, summarized the talks for follow-up individual agreements to ECFA, assess the implementation of ECFA early harvest program, discussed the achievements in promoting cross-strait economic cooperation and planned for work moving forward. Next, I would like to brief you on the specifics of this Regular Meeting:

First, ECFA has achieved striking achievements through its early harvest program. In this Regular Meeting, we summarized the implementation of ECFA early harvest program with three words, good, efficient and wide-ranging. It is good in terms of outcome. In the first three quarters, 557 early harvest products under general trade imported from Taiwan to the mainland increased by over 35% year-on-year, and 268 early harvest products imported from the mainland to Taiwan also increased by more than 35% over the same period. These fully illustrate the active role of the early harvest program in promoting trade. It is efficient in practice. In cargo trade, the commerce and trade authorities and customs from both sides strengthened the publicity of ECFA early harvest, so that more enterprises could enjoy preferential tariff treatment. The total amount of tariff reductions on both sides was nearly $ 110 million, with significant results. In trade in services, 82 Taiwanese enterprises have invested in 9 out of 11 sectors open to Taiwanese investors in mainland China, accounting for 8.8% of all Taiwanese investment in services in mainland China over the same period of time. Meanwhile, Taiwan also hosts 36 investment projects from the mainland in 6 out of 9 sectors open to mainland investment. The benefits generated are wide-ranging. Early harvests in trade in goods cover products in over ten industries, including agricultural products, chemicals, light industry, metallurgy, machinery, automotive electronics, instruments, medicaldevices, benefiting not only large enterprises, but also a lot of small and medium-sized enterprises. In the services sector, there were 45 small and medium-sized enterprises with a registered capital of less than $ 100 million each among 82 Taiwanese-invested enterprises in the mainland. All these show that the benefits brought by ECFA early harvest program are very wide-ranging.

Second, ECFA follow-up negotiations went smoothly. The meeting summed up the discussions and believed that the negotiations on the four follow-up agreements have achieved progress in different degrees. After several communications, trade in goods, trade in services and dispute settlement working groups made in-depth exchanges of views and reached preliminary consensuses on the text of the agreement on trade in goods and products tariff reduction arrangements, text of the agreement on trade in services and market liberalization commitments and basic principles of dispute settlement and the main text of the agreement. Although the investment working group still needs further discussions and coordination within and between the two sides regarding the investment protection agreement, they have reached many consensuses and a basic agreement about the contents. Representatives of both parties agreed that the follow-up negotiations went smoothly and laid a foundation for the future work and the signing of the agreements. Representatives of both parties recognized that compared with ECFA, the follow-up individual agreements were more specialized, inclusive, and more difficult to discuss. It needs us to offer advice as well as our negotiating teams to approach the issues with a long-term vision and an open attitude to move forward the negotiations.

Third, we have reached multiple consensuses on special economic cooperation. The meeting discussed the results of economic cooperation and recognized the multiple consensuses that both sides have reached many consensuses in the promotion of industrial cooperation and customs cooperation. As regards industrial cooperation, both sides agreed to organize regular forum on cross-strait industrial cooperation, selected LED lighting, wireless cities, cold chain logistics, TFT-LCD and electric vehicles for phase-one cooperation, and actively continued to propose new bilateral industrial cooperation projects. As for customs cooperation, the two sides set up three customs business contact windows, namely, customs clearance, anti-smuggling and tariff. Customs cooperation and information exchange can bring more convenience and safety to cross-strait ECFA trade in goods, especially the implementation of early harvest. In addition, regarding setting up cross-strait economic and trade offices, the two sides made in-depth communications about the approval principles, eligibility criteria, application and registration procedures and management facilities. Both agreed to adopt a progressive manner and work for an early implementation after the completion of internal procedures.

Forth, we will continue to move forward all the work. The meeting planned for the future work, and both sides agreed to promote all the work in accordance with ECFA in an orderly way. First, in line with the principle of "equal-footed consultation, mutual benefit and mutual accommodation of each other’s concerns", both sides would hold regular working group meetings to advance negotiations on trade in goods, trade in services, dispute settlement, and sign the agreement whenever it is mature. According to the consensus reached in the seventh sessions’ talks, cross-strait investment protection agreement will be expedited so that the agreement can be signed at the next session. Second, we will continue to promote the implementation of early harvest for trade in goods and trade in services, make early deployment and planning, work together to ensure the smooth implementation of tariff reduction as Phase II of early harvest for trade in goods, and promptly and effectively solve problems in the execution of the program to benefit people from both sides. Third, we will continue to give full play to complementary cross-strait industrial advantages, expand cooperation scope, improve the level of cooperation, strengthen cooperation and innovation ability, develop proprietary brands, promote cross-strait cooperation and development of SMEs, and increase job opportunities for people from both sides. Fourth, through friendly consultations, we should effectively solve all kinds of technical problems in cross-strait cooperation and hold the second meeting of the Customs Cooperation Working Group by the end of the year for consultations on direct transport, electronic connectivity and other issues. Fifth, we will continue to strive to gradually reduce restrictions on mutual investment, promote cross-strait two-way investment and investment facilitation, create a fair environment for investment and upgrade cross-strait economic complementarity, mutual benefit and win-win.

Dear Friends from the Press,

The current international financial market is in turbulence with a persistent sovereign debt crisis, global excess liquidity, rising commodity prices and growing inflation expectations. All these show that the two sides face common challenges in external economic environment. Only when people on both sides work together can we overcome difficulties and weather the hard times. Let us firmly grasp the historical opportunity brought by the signing of ECFA and move forward the operation of the Economic Cooperation Committee step by step. With a more comprehensive perspective, a more open mind and a more pragmatic approach, we will score one success after another for cross-strait economic and trade exchanges and cooperation to lay a solid economic foundation for maintaining the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations.

Finally, I wish all of you good health and good luck. Thank you.

Release Comment:Pen Name: View Comment

Big Medium-sized Small

Relative Articles:

    Ministry of Commerce Website Copyright and Disclaimer Statement

    All articles marked with "Article type: Original" posted on the website of the Ministry of Commerce and its sub-sites are copyrighted by this Website and its sub-sites. Any reproduction or use by any other websites, media or individuals must be attached with a clear indication of "Source: Ministry of Commerce Website".

    All articles posted on this website or its sub-sites marked with "Article type: reproduced" or "Article type: translated" and "Article type: redistributed" come from other media, and are provided solely for the user's information, which does not mean this Website or its sub-sites endorse the ideas thereof or assume any legal liability or responsibility for their authenticity. Any other media, websites or individuals must maintain the source of information indication on this Website or its sub-sites when using the information, and shall assume legal liability for the use.