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Chinese mainland agrees to import more Taiwan fruits


16:07, December 14, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Fresh pears from Taiwan will soon be available on the Chinese mainland, as the government has decided to open its market from Dec. 14.

Yang Yi, a spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday.

The approval makes Taiwan pears the 23rd fruit variety admitted to the Chinese mainland, Yang said.

The mainland began opening its market more widely to Taiwan fruits in 2005 by increasing the types of approved fruits from 12 to 18, and categorizing more than 10 types as duty free.

Since May 2006, four more types of Taiwan fruits were approved for export to the mainland. Pineapple, banana, papaya, guava and wax apple are among the most popular Taiwan fruits in the mainland market.

The spokesman said the cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed by the mainland and Taiwan last year has realized its function to reduce trade tariffs for both sides and boosted both economies.

Thanks to an "early harvest program" of the ECFA, which took effect Jan. 2011, exports worth 3.45 billion U.S. dollars from Taiwan to the mainland enjoyed a tariff reduction of 102 million U.S. dollars in the first 11 months, according to the spokesman.

At the same time, the mainland's exports worth 819 million U.S. dollars were exempted from tariffs of 18 million U.S. dollars, the spokesman said.

The "early harvest program" has benefited Taiwan's industrial and agricultural exports to the mainland, Yang said.

Taiwan's export of polishing machines increased by more than five times and sauries more than 10 times over the levels prior to the the "early harvest program," Yang said, citing statistics released by Taiwan authorities.

More than half of the Taiwan exporters enjoyed new business opportunities added by the "early harvest program," which demonstrates that the ECFA has widely and effectively promoted exports from Taiwan to the mainland, Yang said.

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