Taiwan, China to Hold Free-Trade Talks

Next week, Taiwanese and Chinese leaders will convene to discuss the possibility of a future free-trade agreement between the two regions. From Reuters:

Negotiator P.K. Chiang of export-reliant Taiwan and Chen Yunlin of economic powerhouse China will meet in central Taiwan’s Taichung on Tuesday for a fourth round of talks on the proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), since ties began warming last year.

The pact aimed at slashing import tariffs while allowing more market access in the banking sector, should be signed early next year, Taiwan’s top China policymaker Lai Shin-yuan told Reuters in a recent interview.

“It’s important how we frame (the deal) in the initial phase,” said Alexander Huang, strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taipei. “This will be the first framework agreement between China and Taiwan.”

Tuesday’s talks will also build trust that could lead eventually to dialogue on sensitive political issues, set aside for now as China and Taiwan focus on more practical matters.

December 18, 2009 10:09 PM
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Categories: Economy, Politics, Taiwan