Chinese mainland to implement ECFA tariff reductions as scheduled

16:06, December 29, 2010      

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The Chinese mainland will implement tariff reductions on goods and services as listed in the early harvest program of the cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) as scheduled, a mainland spokesman said Wednesday.

Tariffs on 539 Taiwan goods will be reduced from Jan 1, 2011, said Yang Yi, the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman, at a regular press conference.

Under the ECFA's "early harvest program," some goods and services benefit from reduced duties first.

The two sides have agreed to cut duties on products in the early harvest program to zero over two years.

In 2011, the total amount of tariff reduction on the products is estimated to reach $472 million, Yang said, adding that the figure was calculated based on the imports of the products in 2009.

"The exact amount of duty reductions might be larger given that cross-Straits trade increased quickly in 2010," he said.

Among the products, the tariff on 18 Taiwan farm products will be cut from 10 percent to 5 percent in 2011, which will greatly benefit Taiwan farmers, Yang said.

Six mainland service industries -- design, hospital, maintenance of civil aviation planes, banking, securities and insurance -- will open to Taiwan companies next year, he added.

According to the ECFA, the mainland will open 11 service sectors to Taiwan. Five service sectors -- accounting, computer services, conference-providing services, research and development, film -- were opened in October.

Taiwan has agreed to reduce duties on 267 items of products imported from the mainland.

"The implementation of the early harvest program is only the first step in implementing the ECFA. As negotiations continue, cross-Straits trade will increase and even more people will benefit," Yang said.

Under the agreement, the two sides will continue to discuss agreements for commodities trade, services trade and investment.

Source: Xinhua
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