Mainland imports Taiwan pears

Updated: 2011-12-15 07:43

By Chen Xin (China Daily)

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Mainland imports Taiwan pears

A fruit dealer from Shanghai talks with a Taiwan fruit representative at an exhibition hall in Taiwan on Wednesday. Dong Huifeng / for China Daily

BEIJING - The Chinese mainland has now begun allowing imports of fresh pears from Taiwan.

Lu Hongji, a manager at Fujian Chaoda Modern Agriculture Holdings, said the first order of the fruit would be made next week.

"We will sell Taiwan pears directly in supermarkets in major Fujian cities such as Fuzhou and Xiamen. If they sell well, we will import more and take the fruit to wider markets such as in neighboring provinces of Jiangxi and Guangdong," he said.

Lu said he had tasted Taiwan pears, and the fruit is bigger than that produced on the mainland and tastes good.

Yang Yi, a spokesman for Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the fresh pear would become the 23rd kind of fruit from Taiwan admitted into the Chinese mainland market.

Liu Zhongming, with Shanghai Fruit Co, said his company plans to import the first batch of pears from Taiwan in January.

"As far as I know, the national inspection and quarantine authority will soon pass the standards of importing Taiwan fresh pears. Our manager is in Taiwan now, in the final stages of import negotiation," he said.

Apart from Taiwan pears, the company has been importing oranges, papayas, wax apples and fresh jujubes from Taiwan. Liu said these fruits are sold in Shanghai at a higher price than local fruits, but much lower than those from the United States of America.

Under the early harvest program of the cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, which was implemented on Jan 1, the mainland has reduced tariffs on 539 Taiwan goods while Taiwan dropped the duties on 267 mainland goods.

Within two years, the duties on these products will be reduced to zero.

More than 24,000 batches of goods imported from Taiwan, worth $3.45 billion, enjoyed tariff cuts of 102 million dollars in the first 10 months of this year, thanks to the agreement, said Yang Yi. Mainland goods exported to Taiwan enjoyed cuts to duties of $18 million during the same period.

Yang said only 14 percent of goods listed in the early harvest program could enjoy zero tariffs this year, but 94 percent goods will benefit starting January.

Xie Yu in Shanghaicontributed to this story.