Currency clearance and settlement system soon

Updated: 2009-12-02 07:32

(HK Edition)

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 Currency clearance and settlement system soon

Hu Xiaolian (left), vice govenor of the People's Bank of China, arrives at the 15th cross-Straits financial affairs seminar in Taipei yesterday, accompanied by Lee Chi-chu (center) , vice chairperson of Taiwan's Financial Advisory Commission, and Chiang Ping-kun (right), chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, yesterday. CNA

TAIPEI: A visiting mainland banker said yesterday that preparations for a cross-Straits currency clearance and settlement system are now 80 to 90 percent complete.

"An agreement on the system will be concluded before the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) is signed," said Hu Xiaolian, vice governor of the People's Bank of China.

The ECFA issue is expected to be broached during the fourth round of talks between Taiwan and the mainland later this month in Taichung City.

Hu, who arrived in Taipei Monday for a cross-Straits financial seminar, told reporters after the opening of the forum that preparations for the currency system have been in progress for quite some time.

Noting that currency clearance services would be provided by commercial banks of both sides of the Taiwan Straits, Hu said the preparations include matters such as the transport of currency, the opening of accounts in the participating banks, and the compilation of statistics.

The system would allow for the conversion of Taiwan and mainland currency in banks on both sides, which will lower the cost of currency conversion and reduce the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, thereby encouraging mainland tourists to spend more in Taiwan, Hu said.

Meanwhile, Chiang Pin-kung, Taiwan's top negotiator with the mainland, said at the seminar that during the fifth round of cross-Straits negotiations, Taiwan and the mainland will conclude an agreement to allow bank ventures in each other's markets.

He said that when he and his mainland counterpart Chen Yunlin meet in Taichung later this month, they will put the issue on the agenda for the next round of talks that is expected to be held on the mainland in the first half of next year.

China Daily/CNA

(HK Edition 12/02/2009 page2)