TAIPEI: The Chinese mainland and Taiwan reached "a series of agreements" for a long-awaited economic pact during a second round of expert-level talks, according to a statement released Thursday after the meetings.
During the two-day talks in Tashi, Taoyuan County, the two sides exchanged views on operational and technological topics for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which is intended to normalize mainland-Taiwan economic ties and bring the two economies closer.
According to the statement, it was agreed that both sides' most urgent and necessary issues shall be considered when deciding what products and services are to be included in the early harvest program.
The mainland side said that it fully considered the interests of Taiwan farmers and did not require the island to expand its imports of mainland farm products. It is not going to include farm products in the early harvest program.
The mainland said it would "do its best" to ensure that medium- and small-sized companies and vulnerable industries on the island are not negatively affected by the program.
The two sides also reached agreement on a timetable for consultations concerning rules of origin, the statement said without giving details.
In addition, the mainland will consider Taiwan's request to expand the tax reduction items in the livestock and farming categories that the island will send to the mainland.
The pact will not involve the mainland sending labor to Taiwan.
The two sides also agreed to hold the third round of expert-level talks on the mainland "as soon as possible," according to the statement.
The mainland side is composed of directors from the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), experts and economic affairs officials.
The expert-level meetings focus on preparing a framework for formal ECFA discussions at the next round of talks between ARATS and its Taiwan counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation, which will take place in the first half of the year.