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Taiwan and China to scale down early-harvest lists for ECFA.

Taipei, March 8, 2010 (CENS) -- To assure smooth achievement of consensus, both Taiwan and China may reduce the items on their respective early-harvest lists, or priority items for tariff cuts, to be proposed in the upcoming talk on cross-Taiwan Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), according to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN), sister publication of Taiwan Economic News (TEN).

As a result, the number of items on Taiwan's early harvest list may be further cut to 200-300, about half the amount on the existing draft, but an official in charge noted that the Taiwanese representatives will strive to minimize the reduction scale during the talk.

Another ranking official in charge revealed yesterday (March 7) that the early harvest lists should not be too complicated, in order to assure the smooth progress of the ECFA talk.

Meanwhile, said the official, both sides have agreed to incorporate intellectual-property into the ECFA, including mutual acknowledgement of the priority right of patens and protection of renowned trademarks, which will be a boon for Taiwanese-invested enterprises in China.

The first version of Taiwan's early harvest list, formulated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), contained around 1,000 items, accounting for 30% in value of Taiwan's export to China, which were slashed subsequently, in order to avoid eliciting counter request from China at similar scale. Most of the 500 items on the existing draft belong to the five categories of mid- and upstream chemicals, textile, flat panel display (FPD), machinery, and auto and parts.

China will also have to slash the contents of its draft early-harvest list, which contains Chinese products with higher amount of export to Taiwan and subject to 3% tariff or higher. It's impossible for Taiwan to accept the list, since 60% to 70% of Chinese products exported to Taiwan are now subject to 3% tariff or higher.

((PL)) (GE)

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Title Annotation:Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Mar 8, 2010
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