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Cross-Straits economic co-op meeting kicks off

Updated: 2013-12-10 15:07
( Xinhua)

TAIPEI - The fifth regular meeting of the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Committee (ECC) opened Tuesday morning in Taipei.

Zheng Lizhong, convener of the ECC on the mainland and executive vice president of the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), called for efforts to push forward follow-up negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), a comprehensive cross-Straits economic pact signed in 2010 to reduce tariffs and commercial barriers between the mainland and Taiwan.

Zheng said that validating and implementing the service trade agreement at an early date is a current priority for deepening institutionalized cross-Straits economic cooperation, adding that the mainland side has been fully prepared.

The service trade agreement, one of several follow-up agreements to the ECFA inked in June of this year, is pending ratification by the island's legislature.

Kao Koong-lian, convener of the ECC in Taiwan and vice chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), also called for an early implementation of the service trade agreement and an early agreement from both sides on commodity trade as well as on dispute settlement mechanisms.

Kao also expressed hope that both sides would deepen economic cooperation, such as in free trade pilot programs.

Also on the agenda of the ECC regular meeting will be a review of the accomplishments of the ECFA early harvest program, assessing the work and future plans of the ECC, and responding to the concerns and suggestions of industry and the public.

Representatives will also discuss topics of common concern to people from both sides, including cross-Straits cooperation on e-commerce, and product quarantine, Zheng said.