TAIPEI – Chen Yunlin and Chiang Pin-kung, chief negotiators from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, Thursday signed two agreements on investment protection and promotion, and on customs cooperation, aiming to better protect investors’ rights and interests, and facilitate customs clearance.
Chief negotiators from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan on Thursday held their eighth round of talks since 2008, centering on cross-Straits agreements regarding investment protection and customs cooperation.
Chen Yunlin, president of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, and Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation, delivered inaugural speeches at the meeting.
Chen said the investment protection and promotion agreement, which has been requested by investors for the purpose of facilitating economic development on both sides, will serve as a “realistic solution” to problems regarding the protection of investors’ rights and interests during two-way investment.
“It will offer systematic protection for investors on both sides,” he said. “Besides offering protection for (direct) investors in a common manner, the agreement clearly prescribes protection for (indirect) Taiwanese investors who inject capital into the mainland via a third place.”
The agreement also includes clauses regarding the protection of investors’ personal safety and provides a multi-solution settlement mechanism for disputes, according to Chen.
The agreement also calls for the mainland and Taiwan to further boost two-way investment by lifting restrictions, Chen said.
The agreement will improve protection for cross-Straits investors, “thus creating a better and safer investment environment and more development space for Taiwanese businesspeople on the mainland,” he said, adding that it will also make mainlanders feel safer about investing on the island.
The customs cooperation agreement will improve the efficiency of customs clearance and enhance the effective supervision of cargo for cross-Straits trade, according to Chen.
“We sincerely hope that the signing of both agreements will signal a major step forward in terms of the ARATS-SEF negotiations,” he said.
Chiang said the investment protection agreement will improve the investment environment on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and make both sides more competitive amid economic globalization and regional economic cooperation.
The Chinese mainland is Taiwan’s biggest trade partner and export market. The execution of the early harvest program under the ECFA since January 2011 has allowed goods from both sides to enjoy either reduced or zero tariffs, saving businesses on both sides hundreds of millions of US dollars, especially those in Taiwan.
Both Chen and Chiang expressed hope that both sides will hasten the ECFA’s follow-up negotiations and deepen cross-Straits economic cooperation.
Founded in 1991 and 1990, respectively, the ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-Straits affairs.