Pact to boost cross-Straits service trade

Updated: 2013-06-22 03:07

By SHI JING in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Pact to boost cross-Straits service trade

An exhibitor makes snacks at the Taiwan-themed temple fair in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Friday. More than 230 stands at the event were offering specialty products from Taiwan. After a new agreement was signed on Friday, the mainland will open 80 services sectors to Taiwan, while Taiwan will open 64 sectors to the mainland. Zhang Guojun / Xinhua

The next round of trade talks between the two is expected to focus on fresh water supply, and particularly a program to address water shortages in Kinmen, and other outlying islands of Taiwan.

The latest service trade agreement is one of the follow-up agreements of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a more comprehensive cross-Straits economic pact signed in 2010.

The ECFA aims to reduce tariffs and commercial barriers between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Chen became the president of ARATS in April this year and Lin was elected chairman of SEF in September 2012, and their meeting on Friday was the first time they have shared a negotiating table on cross-Straits affairs since taking office.

Formed in 1991 and 1990 respectively, ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-Straits affairs.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, China's service trade volume totaled $470.5 billion in 2012, up 12.3 percent year-on-year. China signed 144,636 service trade outsourcing contracts last year, with the total contract value rising to $61.2 billion, up 37 percent year-on-year.

Service industry output accounted for 47.8 percent of the Chinese mainland's GDP in the first quarter of this year, overtaking the manufacturing sector for the first time in history, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

Zhang Xiaoxian contributed to this story.


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