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Vice Minister Gao Yan’s Speech to the Media after the 7th Regular Meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee


Distinguished Guests, and Friends from the Media:

Good afternoon!

First of all, I’d like to extend our gratitude to the friends of the press across the strait on behalf of the mainland side! Just now, the 7th regular meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee successfully ended. I will take this opportunity to introduce you to the achievements of the regular meeting.

At the meeting, the two parties communicated with each other on their own economic development and policy trends, and exchanged views on how the cross-strait institutional cooperation could seek development, benefit the people and excavate the potential. The meeting gained several achievements, which could be summarized as “six mores”.

Firstly, the implementation effects of the Early Harvest of ECFA gained more attention. During the 4 years since the implementation of the Early Harvest, the coverage of its benefit has become even wider, not only including the large-sized enterprises, but also many small and medium sized enterprises. For example, some small and medium sized Taiwan agricultural products enterprises and those who produce household filter, auto parts, small electric appliance, underclothes, hosiery and hand tools have benefited from it; 163 of the 340 Taiwan invested enterprises in the service industry who enjoy ECFA privileges and were established in the mainland have an investment less than US$ 1 million, almost a half. In the Early Harvest, the products of trade in goods are less than 900 items, and the 20 departments of service trade witness a high benefits. The finish and implementation of the agreement on service trade and that on trade in goods would make the benefit coverage across the strait even wider.

Secondly, the implementation of the agreements that have been signed achieved more attention. During the implementation of the investment protection and promotion agreement, 90% of the 124 cases in the charge of the mainland side were about assisting small and medium sized Taiwan enterprises to solve disputes. The website of investment consultation mechanism has been launched and consultations were received. The agreement on customs cooperation has gained obvious effects in the construction of information exchange system, documents verification, cooperation in suppressing smuggling, and mutual recognition of AEO.

Thirdly, seeking improvement in stability of the consultation work attracted more attention. Since the agreement on trade in goods entered into the critical stage, the two sides have paid more attention to listening to opinions of the industrial circles, benefiting more groups, and striving to realize reciprocity and win-win situation. The two sides agreed to arrange the next round of negotiations after the Spring Festival. Consensus has been reached on many contents on disputes settlement agreement.

Fourthly, the communication and coordination on industrial policies gained more attention. The industrial cooperation group launched the pilot cooperation, formulated common standards, strengthening technology cooperation, broadening market jointly and promoted the interaction of the industrial chains. The work group on service trade reached consensus on the cooperation on statistics, franchise and computer service.

Fifthly, improving people’s livelihood through cooperation has gained more attention. To support the development of small and medium sized enterprises of both sides, and according to the sixth article of ECFA, the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee established the cross-strait cooperation work group of small and medium sized enterprises. The two sides also exchanged experience on livelihood issues including inspection and quarantine cooperation, and food safety. The two sides will promote the listing of the working offices of AETATS and Electrical and Electronical manufacturers’ Association, to provide services to the industries.

Sixthly, depending on new platforms and taking advantage of new policies achieved more attention. The mainland side introduced the experience of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, the progress of Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin Pilot Free Trade Zones, the initiative of “One Belt and One Road” and new policies like the new foreign investment law, hoping that the enterprises and people of Taiwan could share the bonus of the opening up of the mainland.

Besides, facing the new situations, new normal and new changes, the mainland side put forward three initiatives on deepening the cross-strait economic cooperation.

1. The cooperation should be deep. The coordinated development of institutional mechanism like ECFA and demands of the industries and people of both sides should be further deepened, and we should support the enterprises of both sides to deepen the coordinated development through strategic alliance, and to deepen the coordinated development of the high-end manufacture industries.

2. The innovation should be practical. The related departments of both sides should support the industries to realize the innovation and upgrading of the traditional industries through research and development, and information technology; and support the service industry to better connect with the manufacture industry in design, logistics, marketing and payment through e-commerce and innovative financial products.

3. The policies should be flexible. The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee is willing to respond to the demands of the industries at the entrepreneur’s summit, and continue to urge the related departments of both sides to provide more considerate and convenient services to the enterprises and people across the strait, to create more favorable policy and business environment.

In the future, we hope that the two sides would follow the conception of “two sides, one family”, realize reciprocity and the win-win situation, and benefit the people of both sides with more mutual understanding and consideration.

The above are my introduction to the fruits of the 7th regular meeting. That’s the end of my speech. Thank you!

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