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Speech By Vice Minister Gao Yan at the Press Conference of the 6thRegular Meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee


Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce GaoYan, who is also the mainland’s chief representative of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee, saidon August5 that the 6thRegular Meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee was successfully concluded. According to Gao, the mainland sincerely implemented the requirements by General Secretary Xi Jinping during his meeting with Vincent Siew at Boao last year that “It is necessary to give full play of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee under the Framework Agreement of Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation, strengthen communication in situation, policies and development plan, and enhance the foresight and coordination of economic cooperation”, and the spirit of “Four Will Not” made by him during his meeting with Chu-yul Soong this year. The mainland also exchanged views with Taiwan on the economic development situation and related policies and measures, as well as the economic and trade issues concerning further deepening cross-strait economic cooperation and promoting the follow-up negation of ECFA. The two sides reached consensus on a number of issues, which could be summarized as institutionalization, innovation and facilitation.

The system construction of the cross-strait economic and trade cooperation was continuously promoted. According to the review and summaries of the two sides, during the three and a half years since the implementation of the early harvest of ECFA, both sides have benefited a lot from the economic and trade system cooperation. In terms of trade in goods, the total favorable products of the two sides amounted to US$ 34.7 billion, accounting for 5.6% of the total cross-strait trade; tariff reduction reached US$ 1.8 billion, with more than US$ 2 million reducing of each products in average. In terms of service trade, over 420 service enterprises and projects have benefited from it.

To further promote economic and trade system construction, and after consultations of the two sides, a number of consensuses were achieved at this regular meeting. The group of trade in goods planned initially to have the next consultation of the cargo trade agreement at the end of August. The dispute settlement group would further drive the consultation. Although the agreement was unenforced, the service trade group still overcame obstacles and actively discussed the major cooperation sectors of the service industry. The investment group reached consensus on the launching of investment consultation mechanism and the operation of cross-strait mediation organizations, and also agreed to hold the second group meeting in the second half year. The second representative offices by economic and trade institutions across the straits will be established at the end of the year.

The innovative development of cross-strait economic and trade cooperation was actively promoted. This regular meeting firstly took cooperation between micro and small enterprises into discussion, put forward new expectations for the establishment of cross-strait e-commerce cooperation mechanism and made detailed introduction to the latest development of Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Innovations of related groups sprung up. The industrial cooperation group recently established a medicine division, and the former divisions of LED illumination, automobile, display, wireless city and cold-chain logistics all made innovations on cooperation; the information and technology cooperation of the customs group was also promoted. All of these were innovations of cooperation between the two sides.

Facilitation measures of cross-strait economic and trade cooperation were optimized. The over US$ 1.7 trillion of cross-strait trade and more than US$ 100 billion bilateral investment resulted from the supporting services of economic and trade facilitation. At this meeting, the customs and departments of quality control had deep discussions on the facilitation of clearance and inspection and quarantine, and departments of investment of the two sides made full communications on investment facilitation and reducing investment limits, providing mechanism guarantee to cross-strait economic and trade cooperation.

Cross-strait economic and trade communication accords with the fundamental interests of the people across the strait, benefits the peaceful development of the cross-strait relations and complies with the historical trend. In the future, the mainland, has the determination and confidence to promote systematical cooperation in cross-strait economic development and trade, and has the patience to conquer the difficulties and problems in the progress. The two sides are one family, and we hope that the two sides will follow the spirit of mutual understanding and sympathy, and make joint efforts to realize a reciprocal and win-win situation to benefit the people across the strait. We also hope that Taiwan would follow the willings of its industrial circle and common people to strengthen cross-strait economic cooperation and comply with the historical trend of cross-strait economic cooperation and regional integration, drive the enforcement of the service trade agreement and promote the progress of cross-strait economic systematical cooperation.

At the end, Gao expressed her grieve and condolences to the compatriots and their families who were injured or dead in the major accidents and disasters that happened recently across the strait.

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