Stalled China-Taiwan Trade Talks to be Resumed by End of Month

Despite heated dispute over the cross-strait services treaty signed in June of last year, Taiwanese officials announced on Tuesday that talks with China on further  within the bilateral economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) would be resumed by the end of the month.


The announcement, made by Taiwan’s Vice Economics Minister Cho Shih-chao following the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Committee’s bi-annual meeting in Beijing, comes at a time when export-dependent Taiwan is growing increasingly uneasy at the prospect of China’s impending FTA with economic rival South Korea.


As a result, the ROC is keen to speed up negotiations with mainland China, with the first round of talks to be held at the end of the month, said representatives from the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) which oversees the talks.


The signing of the ECFA in 2010 was widely considered to be the first significant step towards trade liberalization following five decades of strained relations between China and Taiwan.


The agreement’s “early harvest” of tariff concessions (all listed items reduced to zero) totalled 539 Taiwanese and 267 Chinese products. Despite some concerns on the part of Taiwan regarding sovereignty issues and a potential influx of Chinese white-collar workers, ECFA’s terms were of clear economic advantage to Taiwan, worth US$13.8 billion compared to China’s US$2.8 billion.


But now Taiwan is keen for an ECFA upgrade, not just out of fear of South Korean competition (both countries rate China as their top trading partner), but also in promotion of Taiwan’s regional economic integration efforts including its bid for accession to the U.S. led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).


As scheduled, the talks will include government officials from both sides. Analysts are predicting a wide-ranging free trade pact that could affect up to 85 percent of traded goods



Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. The firm has been assisting foreign investors in the Pearl River Delta Region for over twenty years and currently has offices in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Hong Kong.


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China Briefing hosts a wealth of business intelligence on legal, tax, and operational issues in China from a practical perspective. Knowledge, expertise and commentary for China Briefing is regularly contributed by Dezan Shira & Associates´ professional legal and tax staff. Currently located in Futian district, Dezan Shira & Associates has been assisting foreign companies in Shenzhen for 22 years.

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